Archive | 12:06 PM

Today is My Late Brother’s Birthday

1 Jun

May 16th on the way to church we stopped and picked up a Wood turtle which was beginning to cross the road, presumably on her way to lay eggs.  Her defense?  Pee for a long time.  Repeatedly.  I was thankful I had held her angled away from my Sunday clothes.  And that we had papers in the car to put down on the floor when the she indicated her defensive tactic was going to be repeated.  It is truly amazing how much water a turtle can hold.

She had no claws on her front left leg, and her carapace was gnawed upon in areas.  Our guess is she was quite old. We are sure that, like Minn, she has lots of adventures to tell.  If only she could.  We moved her to a stream on a much less public road with a nice tilled field nearby.  She was large–she was the length given in the article as the maximum.

Later that day we saw our first hummingbirds of the year.  The night of the 17th I saw the first fireflies.  More of those each night, now.

This past Saturday morning there were at least a  dozen double-winged dragonflies up in the protected end of the corn field.  That same walk I found the first potato beetle of the year on a small Jimson weed.  I was ripping them out of the corn field as I walked.

The wild roses are in bloom–both pink and white. The yellow double from my grandmother is blooming also.

Saturday evening we went to visit a local bog where grow native orchids we have never managed to see in bloom.  But that evening we saw several yellow lady slipper blooms and the large growing plants of the pink lady slippers, which bloom later. Also noticed for the first time Water Avens, of the Geum family. I pull out another geum species around here as a weed.  Maybe I should not?

The farm family which own the land were there also so we had a nice chat.  If we had been in an Austen or Gaskell novel, they would be “the family of the squire”.  They are the largest land-owning farmers in the area.  What a treat.

Three of the grand squirrels still come to be fed on the woodpile.  This morning we finally had some rain–.3″.  So I have been giving them water as well as cracked hickory nuts.  The Bobolinks and Orioles sing every morning.  Starting about 4AM.

Which is when I went for walk Monday.  The not-quite-full moon cast my shadow as I walked.  The eastern sky was beginning to lighten, enough to see the deer which jumped out of the shrubbery 25 feet behind me, but not light enough for it to know what I was.  No breeze, either.  So there we stood, stock still staring at each other, it stamping a hoof every 20 seconds or so and me not moving anything but my eyelids to blink.  We seemed to stay that way an awfully long time.  Two minutes?  I had started wondering how long this would go on and was determined that I was not going to be the first to yield.  Then it snorted and bolted across the road into another shrubby area, where is continued to stamp and snort as I walked on.  It acted aggressive enough that I was thankful it was spring and the bucks are without antlers.

The neighbors down the road must have a peacock.  An intermittent mournful morning cry came from some trees.  It was noticeable from half a mile away.

%d bloggers like this: