Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee, Vol. 8 - 7/3/19
This last week was kind of back and forth from spring to summer. We got through the longest day of daylight, but a couple of others with rain were not good. I had over three inches of rain at my house, but I had reports of four and five inches of rain on Thursday, which wasn’t good for some nesting loons. One nest was almost 18 inches under water. Some of these loons will re-nest, but others on smaller ponds and lakes only give it one shot. Some loons got their chicks off just before the big rains and they are out and about with the parents, so give them some space if you come upon a family.
I think many songbirds may also have lost their nests with such intense rain for such a long period of time. Some were lost just from the rain and others couldn’t get enough food to keep the young ones going and they may have perished. I haven’t checked many bluebird or swallow boxes but I’m sure some of these little ones will be dead in the box. Sometimes I even find an adult that doesn’t make it.
Many lakes came up well over a foot, and some nearly two feet. I have seen several duck families crossing the highway with the female taking her ducklings to bigger water, or just to water. I saw one family twice one day, going both ways, so I don’t know if she ever found water for them. I think the pair on my pond lost their nest in the rush of water. I watched her riding on the loon platform that night, as it washed back and forth in front of the little stream then flows into the pond, like she was on a circus ride.
I haven’t had any baby turkeys under the feeder like I normally do, but I have four females coming each Day. They may have lost their nests to water also. I think many ground-nesting birds had a rough spring, which has been both wet and cold.
The trees and wildflowers on the other hand seen to be doing ok, but a little late flowering. I hope that most of the flowers, shrubs and trees had been pollinated and they will all bear fruit, which is good for all the wildlife. The milkweeds seem to be doing great, so let’s hope the monarchs show up to lay eggs on them. I’ve had a few reports of them in the area and I’ve seen only one so far.
When the sun has been out, there are several butterflies and bees working the flowers. I did get in the garden between the showers and black flies, so I hope the heavy rains didn’t wash out some of the seeds. Nothing has popped through the ground yet, but many have replanted already when their first crop didn’t come up. Many farmers around the country haven’t even been able to get in their first crops because the fields are so wet, with some even under water. It’s going to be a tough year for them if they ever get their crops in.
It has been a great year for waterfall pictures. I caught Twitchell Creek Falls a week ago, and then again just after the heavy rains, and the water was coming over the falls more than I had ever seen before. There were also some nice pink lady slippers along the trail on the way in.
The beavers have been trying to catch some of this water, making new dams to expand their range in the woods to get more food to eat. This has caused problems in many areas and the beavers have been removed by permit.
Speaking of water, the frogs have been enjoying it and many have already laid their eggs. Some little frogs have already hatched out into a big world. If your outside View in the evening, the little gray tree frogs will sing you a chorus from the trees and walls of the building. These frogs were brought in on equipment when the building was being built and they have established a nice population right around the building and ponds. They are hard to find, as they blend right into the tree's bark they are singing from.
Summer is here and there is so much beauty out there to enjoy and not destroy, but that’s another story. See ya.