Thursday, April 2, 2015


I ended up only going for two very brief walks this morning in between thunderstorms. The folds of clear blue-gray clouds, outlined in back-lit sky, kept rolling in then clearing out, leaving only the dirty white rags of full cloud cover. I'm hoping these next few days of rain will bring out the morels! I'm ready to go hunting because it has been slim pickins', especially after one huge harvest a few years ago when I caught the fungi fever.  

When I sat down to record my morning sightings/hearings in my phenology journal, I noticed how different the years have been on April 1. Today, the only plants I could add to the two bloodroots from yesterday were one other bloodroot bud and one anemone in bloom along the spring. I compared that to April 1, 2012 and 2007, when it appears everything was in bloom: columbine, purple cress, violets, Virginia bluebells, golden ragwort, dogwoods and redbuds, etc.  

Most of the bird sightings are about on target...although I still haven't heard my first thrasher that everyone else seems to have encountered.  Usually, he announces his return on the tips of the pines that surround the deck. But I did hear turkeys in the hills, a barred owl at 8:30 am and saw a pair of yellow-bellied sapsuckers. The phoebes are I see every year up by Kavanah (though she never nests in it) and the one scouting out the guest room exterior shutter again. For the last two years they built a nest on top of the black shutter underneath the eaves and hidden by the lilac bush. We accept the mess and wash it off in fall. 

Yesterday, two chickadees spent most of the morning and into early afternoon flying around in the garage rafters, I assume trying to find a suitable cavity to nest in.  Finally, after a few hours of puttering and loudly listening to The Signature of All Things on audiobook, they left and haven't been back.  Evidently, not literary avian.  

And this morning two rust, white and black Eastern towhees spent a good deal of time duking it out in the blue spruce tree out front for the affection of their duller-in-color female counterpart. Actually, you'll notice a fair amount of territorial defense behavior going on all over the place if you pay attention.

Some years flora and fauna can be predictable and some years not. I love recording it in my journal and comparing it...although sometimes my documentation skills can be just as sporadic as spring flowers. But one thing that is fairly predictable and heartwarming in my life is my dog's nap time. 

Cyon paces and hints by walking over to the basement door. I check my watch-usually between 10:30-11:30. I let her inside. She gives me a "see you later" look, and immediately lays down on her blanket. I tune in NPR on my I-Pod and she falls fast asleep for an hour or more. Just enough time to write my blog posts...

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