Friday, April 23, 2010

Giant Swallowtail Study

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly is much more common down here than up in Northern NY, but it is just as exciting to see here as it was there. My first one showed up yesterday.He was a flighty big guy.Swishing around the garden was his thing!I think the Giant Swallowtail is one of my favorites!
For a super special treat, if you haven't already, please go visit My Bird Tales...
well everyone but Julie.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Very Destructive Force

Last year when we moved to our new home I noticed many of the trees had been damaged by pests. This year I got to watch the devastation first hand. These new leaves are not more than a few weeks old and here is how they look.What's really weird is that about a week ago I noticed that when I walked down the driveway through the woods, it sounded like it was raining, even though it wasn't.At that time the forces of evil were almost too small to see.But in no time they grew to a visible size.This one is not as common as the rest so I'm not sure if he is on my enemy list.But this little one is in grave danger if he is in my reach. Sadly they are all the way up to the very tops of the trees.The rotten so and so's.What was that sound of rain in the woods?...this...If anyone reading this blog has ever raised a Monarch butterfly from a caterpillar you know that the more they eat, the more they poop and the bigger they get the bigger the poop. That "rain" I hear is caterpillar poop falling from the trees!! I'd bet you anything!! It's still raining even though it's sunny each day.
(the black dots, on the trash can lids...Poop!)And all I can do is hope and pray for more birds!!Calling all Tanagers, Warblers, Cuckoos and Woodpeckers!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last Day with Blindy

Morgan spent her last day with the little sick Goldfinch on Saturday. We didn't know it would be his last day. We even called our sweet neighbor Krista to see if she had a birdcage we could keep the little guy in for safety until he passed. We could tell the end was near.
But until then Morgan and Daisy Lu made sure Blindy had his sunflower seeds and plenty of water to drink.Yes Daisy, you have to be good around this little fellow.Promise you won't hurt softly.Tell stories.Show some lovin.A little sniffin.......but he's not that crispy chicken Daisy loves.Sunday morning Blindy was on the feeder. Morgan was to put him in his cage with food and water but when she went outside he was gone and did not return.
We will miss him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Days

The Columbine are blooming. Color in my yard.
Crepe Myrtle in the foreground, Japanese Maple in the middle and Cherry in the rear.My realtor Linda gave me this sweet pink Columbine last year when I saw our house for the first time.The dragonflies are making their appearance. This Common Whitetail female is on the edge of the woods.
Where the little wild clover belongs.This might be a blueberry but since I never paid attention to blueberries, during the few times I've picked them, I could be wrong.We put a Martin house in the field by the road. I've seen Martins flying above the house but not seen any takers here yet. There is a pair of Bluebirds checking it out though.Sadly, I've noticed a couple finches with the eye disease that can weed out the weak.
Most of my finches are no longer here and the few that have the disease are struggling for food and water.
You are not necessarily supposed to feed them but I haven't the heart to take away their only place for comfort.
Morgan has made friends with this little one.I've read that there is no known jump to humans with this disease, and they don't treat it because it might make the disease more resilient."No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Down in the Hollar

The joy of blogging is that you meet wonderful people that you might never have met if you hadn't started this crazy thing called a blog. Now we might have met Brittni because she is the daughter of Morgan's teacher and a substitute teacher herself, but I don't know if we would have been invited to go "down in the Hollar" by her if she hadn't been introduced to my blog and found me and Morgan to be true naturalist type folk.
When Brittni called and asked if we would like to go for a nature walk we jumped on it but had no idea the adventure we were about to be treated to. First I want to say, thank you Brittni, you are a wonderful inspiration for all young women. Hold to your values and keep being who you are. You will go far!
This is the google map photo of where we were. That is one heck of a Hollar!Here is the terrain view......and the red dots are my interpretation of where we walked. I may be a little off at the start and distance but you get the picture! It was a hike and a half. If I'm right we walked nearly a mile one way...but it sure did seem longer.This is probably the longest blog I've ever posted so I'll try to keep wordage to a minimum.
The start of our walk was a steep descent.Morgan and Brittni heading down.There were so many beautiful wildflowers along the way.Right at the bottom we were treated to the falls. There were a number of them.
This is where Brittni grew up, she is right at home here in the Hollar.Our first challenge was getting down to the rocks. The normal route was blocked by a tree that had fallen in a storm so we clung to roots and small trees as we crawled precariously along a cliff above the water. Huge boulders littered the stream.Walking was tricky. Moss and wet rocks are well know by naturalists to be very slick, so we knew to keep clear. Not one fall was made by the three adventurers.Of course with Brittni being such a dear, there were a lot of helping hands and "yes Mams"!
Her parents must be so proud...they sure raised her right!I heard some birds in the woods, some Carolina Wrens, Tufted Titmice, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers but the most we could hear was running water. Not a bad trade-off.There were trees growing out of rocks......and rocks growing out of rocks!Every now and then we'd take a short break for those who were young at heart......who were looking for wood fairies that like to slide on natural slides.We found a heart shaped rock placed there by God just for nature lovers.This is an all white butterfly we found...the best shot I could get before it flew away. If it is a West Virginia White it will be right on the edge of it's range.Brittni and Morgan. Two sweet, beautiful young women.Farewell, till we meet again...Hollar at ya later!!!