Sunday, July 15, 2018

Out and About: Summer Sightings

I really did not enjoy the heatwave that stretched from June thirtieth to July fifth. Six over ninety degree days was just too much. I watched my garden and bird feeders from my kitchen and was very thankful when it finally cooled off on the evening of July sixth. Back outside I have seen a lot of Monarch butterfly activity at my milkweed plants. Today is the eleventh day straight of seeing a Monarch in my garden. This morning there were two of them laying eggs and taking nectar from flowers. I haven't found a Monarch caterpillar yet though a very hairy and hungry caterpillar, that I'm not familiar with, is doing a lot of chomping. Dragonflies have been darting around, hummers are visiting the sugar water feeders and flowers and of course, chipmunks and squirrels are in the garden every day and every hour. Enjoy!
Monarch Butterfly at Milkweed Flower

Monarch Butterfly Egg on Underside of Milkweed Leaf

Milkweed Flower-So Fragrant


Milkweed Pods


Mr. Green

Swallowtail Leaving Lily

Red Admiral Butterfly





Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Out and About: Around the Village in Photos

Baby Killdeers on South Lawn. Killdeer Families at Griffin's Ridge and Little Round Lake Boat Club too.

Tulip Tree Flowering in late May

The hard work of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on Judy Selig's Mountain Ash tree

And here it is! Can't get enough of that sap.

Breakfast of Clovers for one of the Very Many Round Lake Rabbits

Catalpa Tree Flower Buds

A downed Cottonwood branch with the white fluffy seeds we see flying all over the place like snow

Juvenile male Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Northern Flicker looking for an ant meal

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Out and About: Spring is Here

I got out of town for a week in early May to Shenandoah National Park. It was a camping and hiking trip filled with beautiful views, waterfalls, birds, bears and wildflowers. When I got back to Round Lake everything had leafed out and sprung up. The migrant birds were back, including the hummers. The grass was tall, the dandelions and maple seedlings had marched through the garden and my favorite flowers, lilacs, were in bloom. The Carolina Wrens had fledged and left the garden shed so I could get in there again. I hung their nest in the hanging basket outside on the shed's porch, in case they are considering a second brood. I have spent time watching a male hummer defending the sugar water feeders in the garden. He sits on a dead branch in the apple tree, watching and waiting for a second male to zoom in and then chases him away. He was out there guarding the feeders past sunset one night. Enjoy and Happy Spring at last!
Showing Jamis the view he hiked for.  Hawksbill Mountain Shenandoah N.P.

Overall Run Falls Shenandoah N.P.

Johnny Jump-ups

Mourning Dove Juveniles

Jack-in-the-Pulpits Peck Avenue Woods

Another Jack



Lovely Lilacs

Bleeding Hearts

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Out and About: Spring Where Are You???

I have been waiting to write a post announcing spring is finally here. Titles like," So Happy It's Spring!!!" or" Spring Has FINALLY Sprung!" However, with a forecast of freezing rain, sleet and temperatures in the thirties for tomorrow, April 15th, I can not proclaim with jumping joy that it feels like Spring. I have noticed around the village though, a few events that go along with the spring season. Skunk Cabbage came up in wet areas around the middle of March. I was able to see the flower hidden inside as I caught it early enough. Snowdrop flowers were next up along with crocuses. Coltsfoot is currently blooming by the stream heading over to Griffin's Ridge. On April 2nd I watched an eagle sitting on the lake's ice which was going, going, gone on the fourth after high winds and rain. Then on April sixth, as I was watching robins looking for worms in the children's playground, it began to snow. I thought the robins looked unhappy. I know I was. Thankfully, it did not last long. Carolina Wrens have been sneaking around my garden shed. When I looked in to see if they had found real estate, they certainly had. A nice little domed nest was made in a hanging basket. A couple of days later I peeked in and the nest was occupied by mama. Wood Ducks have been making their rounds looking for real estate as well. The Green Hour group and I went to clean out a nest box for the ducks and discovered a trembling mouse inside. Hoping the mouse family will vacate soon. Lastly, I heard peeper and wood frogs between Herlihy Road and the Zim Smith Trail. If you go on Herlihy and look in the spring pools, staying very still, you can see the wood frogs. I used binos to get a close up look. So there you have it, a few signs that spring is underway. Happy April All!!!
Skunk Cabbage: Flowers First then Leaves

A Closer Look: Skunk Cabbage Flower Inside A Spathe(Looks Alien)


Ice Going Out on April Second

Bald Eagle Overseeing Ice Out

Unhappy, Snowy Robins


Coltsfoot with Flowers Open

Carolina Wren Nest

A Closer Look

Great Blue Heron Nests on Ballston Creek(9 and a half standing as of March 25th)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Out and About: Second Nor'easter in Less Than a Week

Surprise!!! More snow. About a foot of it, heavy and wet, coating everything, everywhere. The snow began on Wednesday, March seventh, in the morning, picked up steam in the afternoon and continued into the evening. The storm closed schools, brought down tree branches, which brought down power lines which had parts of Round Lake in the dark and cold Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The landscape did look beautiful with everything outlined and adorned with snow. As I write this, it is melting! However, if you just haven't had enough, another storm is possibly brewing for Monday.


Wiley Avenue

Alumni Hall

Bakers Park Playground

Snow Screen

Topped Off