Sunday, March 28, 2010

This Week Last Year at PPW

I keep a Phenology Journal (or try to) where I write down weather conditions, species sightings, bloom times, etc. on the property.  It is both fun and frustrating.  Fun, because it keeps me in tune, aware and expectant of new discoveries.  Frustrating, because there is so much going on at this time of year, I actually forget to document it all!  

As an example, here are a few 2009 excerpts from when I was down there around the same time last year.  You may have to think about some of my abbreviations!

Thursday, March 26-Rained most of the day (1-2") Sun kept peeking out after 4pm. Waxwings on persimmon, 25 goldfnch w them-then flew to eat maple buds.  F Rose-brsted grosbeak at feeder.  Goldn-crwnd kinglet, yel-rump, yel-bel sapsker.  Juncos still here.  High 62

Friday, March 27 - Chipping sparrows seen for the first time.  Blue violets out.  Daffodils are mostly bloomed.  Saw geese in pond this pm.  Japanese beetles still thick at kitchen 

Saturday, March 28 - Heard woodcock and barred owl around 6:45 pm.  Barred owl is like clockwork. Woodcock again at 8:30 - 27 "peents" before whirling.  

Sunday, March 29 - Red-spotted Salamander in pond found by B. McLaren!  Blue Violets.  Spring Azure butterfly.  Cold and Windy

Monday, March 22, 2010


So far, 3 out of the 4 years we've owned Prairie Pond Woods, a pair of eastern bluebirds have nested on our property.  The last two years they raised their brood in the old, weathered box on the telephone pole out back, and the other year in the old, weathered box on the telephone pole out front.  Both boxes were already there when we bought the place.

Evidently they don't prefer the fancy- shmancy boxes we and some friends of Prairie Pond Woods decorated so they could have very fashionable living spaces.  Oh well, I'm just grateful they are back and visitors can enjoy watching them build their nest, as well as CONTINUALLY feed their offspring. 
We truly do owe a debt of gratitude to the many songbirds that migrate up to the US to spend the spring and summers here.  Last year, I watched both male and female bluebirds spend from 7 am until about 7 pm doing nothing but feeding their babies caterpillars, spiders and any other bug they could capture.  
I'm talking one parent about every 3-5 minutes bringing back bugs that would otherwise have made it into your house, garden or outdoor table setting!  We would live surrounded by a sea of bugs (also known as a pestilence) if not for the Divinely appointed diligence of our feathered friends each season.