Friday, May 25, 2007

Nature Observations

The geese are traveling as families, now that the goslings have hatched. The pair in front of the house have two and the upper pond pair have at least six goslings. We've been watching a Bald Eagle fly over quite often, one time with a fish in its talons. Quite possibly it's waiting for the Loon babies. Last year one baby perished by the talons of an eagle, hopefully this year the Loons all survive. The bullfrogs are out in full force. Last night they were calling loudly, garumph, garumph. Today the kids were trying to catch them in the main ditch, no luck. The nets were worked hard last year and not much is left to them. We'll have to check out the dollar stores; that's where we found them last year for two bucks a piece. More than worth it. Wednesday morning we noticed the swarms of dragonflies. That could only mean one thing, the deer flies are out. Dragonflies feast on deer flies, which make them my friend. Not to mention their lacy, and sometimes colorful, wings and bodies. DH has actually had a dragonfly swoop down, capture a deer fly and munch on it right on his arm. Snake season is upon us. This is the time of year I do not wear flip flops around the yard. Those sneaky snakes have a way of appearing out of nowhere. Yesterday DH and I saw an almost 5 foot pine snake on our way to the mailbox. Sara, the not real bright dog, just walked over top the snake, stepped on its head and then was snapped at and looked at us like, what just happened? We've seen a couple of garter snakes on the road sunning themselves, as well.

Now, in the line of plants. The roses are beginning to bloom. It's going to be a spectacular bloom year, all the bushes are just loaded with buds. Blackberry picking, in August, can't come soon enough for Lee and I. We've been noticing the brambles are loaded with blooms. We've had good rain this week, with just enough warmth that pollination should be good. The petals are fully
open and inviting. The kids and I took a wildflower walk this week. Grace brought along her Wildflowers of Wisconsin book and we noted all the flowers we found.

Indian Hemp
Wild Strawberry
Star Flower

Common Cinquefoil

White and Blue Violets
False Lily of the Valley

By just slowing our walk to an almost crawl, it's amazing what can be seen when one peers closely at the forest floor. This week's walk was in an upland deciduous habitat. Next week we plan on taking a walk in the creek bottoms where we'll have a different variety of wild flowers.