Brad and I hiked yesterday and parts of the ground looked like they were moving as hundreds of these little toads hopped about.
Huge crayfish (by Michigan standards…maybe 7 inches)
Speckled May Apple? I’ve never seen this coloration before?
Cute snail/ terrible garden pest
I finally have a garden again and it’s a wonderful feeling.
There are a few repeat photos in this blog, but since the last few years’ worth of photos were deleted I’m reposting the photos.
It’s a busy time of year full of dance practice until 9 and homework until 11. It’s dark by dinner and cold enough for snow. My fingers are so cold they no longer react with the touch screen on my phone.
A praying mantis with one antennae. One of the things I love about photography is the ability to observe things in detail. Making these discoveries, which usually involve a missing leg or antennae, are thrilling to me.
A daddy long leg.
Fall arrived in Michigan and is on its way out. It’s already snowed once.
This frog tried to hide under a log full of spider webs and ended up with web face.
A tree shaped like the state of Michigan.
It’s a boy! I’m impressed with whomever created this natural human statue.
Green Heron and a frog.
The heron only had the the frog by the end of a leg and brought it to the dock for safer eating. If it dropped the frog the heron wouldn’t lose it in the water.
A meaty frog meal.
Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
This guy has a penis and spiders don’t. He also doesn’t have a segmented head or produce silk like spiders. It’s not a spider.
A patch of trillium along the trails. The woods were brown and covered in leaves just two weeks ago and are now green and full of wildflowers and a lot of thorns.
Trillium, the state wildflower in Michigan.
In the garden.
Redbud tree blooms.
Bleeding hearts. The next night we had a freeze that killed all these flowers.
One of my favorite trees
A cardinal nest.
There’s finally an egg in the cardinal nest.
Newly hatched Cardinal
Pregnant deer…. see how the belly protrudes below her middle?
Some of the first wildflowers spotted in the woods.
The last bluebird egg in the first laid clutch sits on the ground destroyed. It is now legal for me to remove the nesting material from the nest box. It’s illegal to destroy a viable song bird’s nest.
A few days later there was a new clutch of bluebird eggs laid.
Female Eastern Bluebird guarding her nest.
Eastern Bluebird fledgings
Sometimes I’m driving down the road and I’ll see a horse, a donkey and a goat hanging out.
Or catch sight of a bird nesting on my way home from work and have to stop for a quick picture.
A leaping deer.
Three robin eggs.
Catching some down time in the park.
Had a great visit to the Skeba’s farm on Lake Leelanau.
We found some morel mushrooms.
And we found a fawn too.
Jack in the Pulpit
Grape Hyacinths. I used to see the deer right outside the front door every morning chowing down on these flowers.
An Eastern Bluebird nest! As of Friday there were no eggs in the nest. I can tell it’s an Eastern Bluebird nest because they make tidy nests woven from uniformly shaped grass. The invasive House Sparrow uses grass, litter (like candy bar wrappers or bits of plastic) and pad the bottom of the nest with feathers from all sorts of different birds.
The Eastern Bluebird nest holds three eggs by Tuesday. I’m guessing there will be a total of five eggs by Thursday… then an exciting (**for a nerd) 14 day countdown begins until the eggs hatch. The begins a ten day period of growth before the hatchlings start to fly and live outside the box.
Despite enough rain to break our city’s 100 year flood records and the snow flying in between the rain storms we have been able to see the sunset once or twice in the past month.
A weather blog for the local area states the week’s weather will be spring-like and wet, active and unsettled.
I took a long and quiet run on the first day of spring…in a snow storm. I did see four bikers on the trails that day.
Turkeys trying to build their harem. The hens completely ignored them and continued to eat the whole time I watched. They need to work on their game. (and grow their beards to more impressive lengths.)
Turkeys and deer. The buck that had the weird shed is on the right. The shed is gone and the snow is melting- finally!
The streams make noise now that the ice is melted.
The floor of the woods
It’s nice to be able to forget to take off your sunglasses and toss them to the side of the trail and not worry they’ll be buried by snow…. or taken when you forget to pick them back up from the trail for a few days in a row. Lookey here, they’re just where I left them.
It’s warm enough for the bugs to rejoin us. I’m amazed that I can spend months accidentally inhaling bugs and spiders in the woods and completely forget about those accidental meals during the winter season. The three black dots on my lips are tiny bugs. They’re way too small to have a flavor.
I barely made it out of the woods by sunset. I saw a raccoon wading in the stream and a skunk on the bank of the stream. They both went into a hollow under a tree’s root system and I was hoping to catch a picture of them together in their hide out. I couldn’t see them when I got closer and I didn’t get sprayed by the skunk or my face eaten off by the raccoon. Disappointedly uneventful.
And it’s dry enough to bike…for now!