Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Butterflies and More

The butterflies are here! As we biked and then drove around looking for our runaway dog we spotted butterflies everywhere. I really need to get better at identifying them quickly. We saw white, orange, black and yellow, some with black spots, some with white stripes. I did identify a monarch, but the rest flitted by so quickly I could hardly focus on them. Summer is definitely approaching. Last night after dark I was out monkeying with the sprinklers and hoards of stag beetles or June bugs were creeping along the edge of the grass. As I shone the light, the ground just crawled. Nature at work, but not my favorite kind.

Yesterday a sad moment turned out to be very educational. While playing in the little woods, Lou found a dead bird and being who she is, she quickly cradled it in her shirt and ran to me crying, A bird is dead...A bird is dead...A bird is dead. I heard her all the way in the house. As she mourned the death of this bird and wondered what kind of beast could have killed it, I quickly grabbed the bird book because off hand I just didn't know what it could be. My first thought was a young blue jay, then maybe a juvenile Starling, but finally I settled on Whip-poor-will. When I spread out the tail feathers the outermost feathers had a wide white band, which the bird book noted was a telltale sign of a Whip-poor-will. Although it didn't look like the picture, however it appeared the picture was taken at night using a strong flash, so the colors were a little distorted. Lee helped Lou bury the bird, well she cried, he dug the hole and buried it. Today the bird has been forgotten, but now we have a new pet.

Lou came in with a toad, which is now living in my childhood yellow and green picnic basket. She's been finding worms and cutting them into small pieces and decorating the basket with stones, leaves and grass so the toad is as comfortable as possible.