Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Busy Spring

Spring is a busy time on the farm. I did take a break a few days back from digging out the rose bed, which has disappeared under grass and weeds, to check on the wildflowers in our woods. Above is the sessile trillium I photographed earlier before it had opened ( I think it is Trillium albidum.

And a lovely green moth came to visit me recently in the mud room off the kitchen. Alas, I could not find where it went so I could put it outdoors. The next morning it had expired. That's when I took the picture. What a lovely thing. I searched the web and learned it is a Deceptive Moth: Feralia deceptiva. I think it deserves a prettier name.

While I work in the garden, Johnny works on the outdoor pens of the new goat barn. (I'll get photos when he's done.) But yesterday we both took a day off to scout for Black Oystercatchers on the coast. It was the first non-rainy day we've had free. Here's Johnny hiking up The Thumb to our lookout post. It's a long, steep climb. (Our days off are not necessarily restful ones.)

Along our hike we spotted two sub-adult Bald Eagles keeping watch over the cove. The one on the right has nearly acquired its adult plumage of an all white head and tail. It takes eagles four years to reach adulthood.

After reaching the top, we found two pair of Black Oystercatchers down on the beach below us. They haggled over their territories when they were on the offshore rocks but seemed to get along fine when down in the foraging areas. We don't often see these birds on sand: they're usually on rocks picking at tidal creatures. There must have been something being exposed by waves at low tide in the sand to pique their interest.

There were plenty of other birds and wildflowers and insects on the way to and from The Thumb. I liked these big black ground beetles that I think are Scaphinotus angusticollis.

I was not so crazy about the black flies that swarmed around us at Cape Kiwanda, where we hiked next looking for Black Oystercatchers. We heard the birds we were looking for but never saw them. It was a Saturday and the dune and beach were covered with people and their dogs having a good time. Not such a great atmosphere for birdwatching. We won't go there on a weekend again.

It is not raining again today so I mowed the lawn and then took a break to write this blog post. But the rose bed is calling me again now... The strawberry and rhubarb and blueberry beds need weeding, too. It's spring.

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