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

Euphorbia

Trilliums

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)

Snowdrops

Ice Going Out on April Second

Bald Eagle Overseeing Ice Out

Unhappy, Snowy Robins

Coltsfoot

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.
Laden

Outlined

Wiley Avenue

Alumni Hall

Bakers Park Playground

Snow Screen

Topped Off

Coated

Friday, March 2, 2018

Out and About: The View from my Porch

Yesterday the yard was absolutely clear of snow and ice. The mud in the driveway was manageable. I took a walk down to the lake and saw two mature Bald Eagles standing out on the ice. There was some open water where the inlet comes into the lake by Route 9. Were the eagles hopeful too? Open water for fishing and uncovered grass and ground to see and catch dinner? Back up in the village,  bluebirds were out and about in Pat's farm field and chickadees were singing their " hey sweetie" call. It almost felt and smelled like spring. Then... BAM!!! Not yet. First, another round of snow. I just looked out my door this morning in amazement and frustration.  However, there were the birds out and about, hunkered down in the apple trees, clinging to the feeders, and scouting around the yard for food. They looked beautiful against the snowy backdrop. I took some photos and am avoiding shoveling! Here they are.
Back in February's Ice Age: Breakfast Together

Mourning Dove in Apple Tree This Morning

Carolina Wren Strikes a Pose

And Another

Downy Woodpecker and Carolina Wren on Suet Cage

Dark-eyed Junco

American Goldfinch

Too Much

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Out and About: Red-tailed Hawk by Griffin's Ridge

I have seen a Red-tailed Hawk both flying and perched in treetops in the area of Griffin's Ridge. On February sixth, I was able to run home, grab a camera, and get back down to where the hawk was sitting. The first photo is a bit blurry as I just wanted to get a picture and positive i.d. before it flew off.





It flew to a tree further away from me and settled back down.

Saturday, February 3, 2018