Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

pretty dead

so pretty… so dead.

Well, the Eastern Bluebird eggs are way way overdue to hatch. Since we’ve had more 100°F days than not the past month, the girls and I guessed the eggs were cooked.
I didn’t want to destroy the whole nest just in case there was a wild chance the eggs were viable.

I took one egg out of the nest and broke it open. It wasn’t close to developed. I have an awesomely gross picture of the yolky fetus, but it was just disgusting enough to save for an entire post devoted to sick and nasty photos…. that way any weak stomached readers can just skip that entire future post.

Leah was downwind from the egg I cracked and confirmed it was certainly rotten. I pulled the nest out of the box and hope the bluebirds have enough time to start another nest.

mature male Green Frog (right Jomegat?)

Not quite a green frog….yet.

I’ve caught a lot of sunsets after late runs.

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar

I turned over a milkweed leaf yesterday looking for a monarch caterpillar and came across a deadly battle between a small tussock caterpillar and a shield bug. The shield bug won a meal.

I flipped the leaf over hoping a monarch caterpillar ate away the bottom left part of the milkweed leaf.

Yesterday was a day filled with fawns.

I startled this fawn when I threw back the curtains in the morning. It snorted and stamped its tiny thermometer-sized hoof. The aggressive behavior seemed sweet since the fawn is so small I could have knocked it out if I tossed my coffee cup at its little head… The window between us kept us safe from each other. (:

This deer was at the trailhead last night. I sadly didn’t have a zoom lens with me.

There are two fawns to the left


29 responses

  1. Your heatwave is terrible – we’ve been hearing about if from downunder!

    July 24, 2012 at 7:35 am

    • melissakoski

      Wow news has travelled that far eh? Hope you’re well Jules!

      July 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

  2. Sorry about the bluebird eggs. The same thing happened last year here when a Snowy Plover laid three eggs on the parking lot at the state park. I saw the eggs and put large rocks near by to divert automobile traffic from the area. I sat my camera up about 100 feet away and caught photos of the adult sitting on the eggs. Then for a few days nothing happened and the adults left. The eggs just baked there on the concrete, in the 100+ degree heat.

    I love your collection of photos. I hope you get a chance to get a close-up view of the fawn. And no, you can’t borrow my 500mm lens. :-)

    Happy Tuesday, Melissa. :-)

    July 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

    • melissakoski

      You’re so thoughtful Bob to place the protective stone. I’ve never experienced cooked eggs, but I’m sure it is more common with regular intense heat. I’ve noticed previous females not even sitting on the eggs much when temperatures rose above 75°F and she sat on those eggs through all those hot days.

      I would have LOVED your lens. I wonder if I could even lift it!?

      July 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

      • Well, little one, I don’t know. It is almost as big as you are. <3

        July 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

        • melissakoski

          Why don’t you mail it..better yet fly it over and hand deliver it.. and we’ll see! (:

          July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      • louisva

        Yes, I agree that Bob is thoughtful and one heck of a photographer too (almost as good as U, Lisa – OUCH, stop hitting me Bob)! Kristen and I both are always moving Eastern Box Turtles out of the road as they don’t move too fast, DUH! PLEASE send warning before pics of scrambled Bluebird eggs – rather not see that. A plateful of scrambled chicken eggs is what I like to see. We have a forecast today of 100 degrees – I’m stayin’ in except for one short errand.

        July 26, 2012 at 11:08 am

  3. TheBlackTwig

    I feel sad about those Bluebird eggs. I don’t have a strong stomach but I’m curious to see the photo of the broken one.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:39 am

    • melissakoski

      I felt sad too Dahlia. The bluebirds were almost extinct over here a few decades ago. I feel privileged to see them and have them nest in my yard. I never even saw a bluebirds until about 8 years ago. I’ll instagram the photo so you have a sneak peak! (:

      July 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

  4. Our second round of House Finch eggs didn’t make it either – but it didn’t occur to me to open them up to have a look-see. As my younger daughter was intent on giving them a proper burial in the yard, though, I might not have suggested it anyway. She’s that way.

    I guess there’s no sense me asking to use Bob Z’s big ol’ lens. Of course, I’d need the camera as well…

    Oh, and – lovely post, Melissa. That seems to be your norm.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Sid. I had to know if they were viable before I took the nest out of the box. I thought killing one was better than the lot (even though I was sure they were not gonna make it into little birds)
      I’m more than curious (:

      July 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

  5. Wow, amazing gallery!

    July 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thanks Kurt!

      July 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

  6. Such an exciting post! Felt pretty sad for those eggs though.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    • melissakoski

      I put off checking those eggs for a day or two until I felt ready to face the sad truth…. I had to check inside the eggs though out of curiosity!

      July 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

  7. Yup! Male green frog!

    July 24, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    • melissakoski

      Oh my gosh I have ARRIVED Jomegat! (: I looked for the ridge of skin you told me about. Thanks for your smarts.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

  8. keekeepod

    Monarch butterflies apparently don’t like to oviposit when it’s too hot. My current batch of caterpillars came from a few females depositing a few eggs very quickly, 10 to 15 minutes per visit, during mid-mornings when the temperature was “only” in mid-80’s. They did this for several days in a row. The last visit was almost 2 weeks ago. This persistent high heat is messing with monarch butterfly population in a bad way.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    • melissakoski

      This makes sense. I hardly have any eggs or caterpillars and normally this time of year there are tons of them in the garden. Maybe I’ll start seeing more in the next few weeks as I think we have a cold front coming through. Interesting!

      July 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

  9. What a shame about those eggs, but at least the frog knew how to keep it cool ha :D. I really wish Texas was so alive and green like in your photos…I get excited when I see a june bug.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

    • melissakoski

      Funny you say that about being green Nate. It rained substantially for the first time in almost two months and it seemed so exciting. I picked up a june bug when I was a kid and it pinched me… now I’m terrified of them. (:

      July 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  10. Such wonderful and sensitive photos Melissa. Your love of nature shows through in both your words and your images. Thanks for the pleasure of following along.

    July 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    • melissakoski

      Thank you so much Rick for such a thoughtful comment. Nature is very dear to me and I’m glad I can convey that sentiment successfully! Thank you again.

      July 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    • louisva

      Hi Rick, I am a frequent poster here at Lisa’s blog & this post is so TOTALLY off-topic but it is compelling to me. Has anyone ever told you that you resemble Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame? I know this is weird but so am I, so I hope you are not freaked by this question. I’m harmless – just ask Lisa, lol!

      July 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      • melissakoski

        I hereby vouch for your harmless weirdness (:

        July 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      • Well, okay, if Lisa vouches for you in that way then you bet I’ll answer. Wow, I never thought about the similarity before but this morning I looked at some close-up PR photos of him and have to say he’s a much better looking version of me, but there is a bit of a similarity. Hmm, maybe I could use that to start getting into concerts for free :-)

        July 29, 2012 at 11:13 am

        • louisva

          Rick, we are playing message tag, lol. I just left a message to you at your photography website. Thanks for answering my off-the-wall question.

          July 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

  11. louisva

    Lisa, thanks so much for vouching for my harmless weirdness ! Small world – I was just a moment ago perusing Rick’s photo website. It is WOW and many other superlatives.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:41 am


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