Thursday, June 14, 2018

Attempting to play mid-wife to a snappy lady...

This purty turtle had a harrowing morning as she tried to cross the street, from the pond to our yard, at around 6:00am.
I went out to try and keep her safe from car, after car, after racing car.
After reaching the middle of the road, she turned around and headed back toward the pond. I had to get ready for work and went inside. Awhile later, I looked out and saw her attempting to cross the road again. This time, a good samaritan stopped his truck, got out and went behind the turtle, and stomped his feet on the road.
The turtle trudged over to our flower garden and entered our yard. I didn't want to disturb her, and shot the last photo from the front deck. I lost track of her and have no idea if she nested in our yard, the neighbor's yard, or elsewhere.

Rain Barrels and Tanya the Toad

Sooo... what were you doing early this morning, at 1:45am? Zzzzzzz...zzzzzz...snore...? Not me! I awoke to the pleasant sound of rain, jumped out of bed, put my wellies and raincoat on, and hightailed it outside! My mission...to reposition the rain barrels so they would capture runoff from the roof. From 15/100ths of an inch of rain, a 55 gallon rain barrel was filled to about 3/4ths from the top (or about 40 gallons.)
It took me awhile to get the second rain barrel into the correct position, so it only got filled to about 1/3. But, now I can water my garden flowers!
After positioning the rain barrels, Lady Flame decided that she had to potty. So, while I was wandering the yard for looking for land mines, I came across a toad who was enjoying the rain as well.
I shone the flashlight on him and snapped a few pictures the best I could as I was soaking wet. But the rain was so lovely as we are in quite the drought situation here. Then, it was back to bed for a few more hours...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Wild Turkey Dominance "Wrestling!"

Neighbor Shannon has lots of flocks of turkeys who visit her yard. She was outside walking her hounds when this flock started their dominance pecking order "wrestling" (as we call it) right in front of Shannon. She took the dogs in, grabbed her camera, went back outside, and shot video within just a few feet of the turkeys. They were completely oblivious to her in their quest for being "Top Turkey!" Note the "referee" turkey in a few of the scenes. Fascinating!

It looks summertime has arrived a bit early

It looks like summertime has arrived. Geez...climate sure has changed over the years. It used to be that we'd get a multitude of spring rainstorms up until around the summer solstice. I'd get a bit weary of the dreary and then summer would arrive with a flourish. Not this year. We've been so dry with a sprinkle of rain here and there. And, it has been a cool spring. I fear for the summer heat and potential thunderstorm pattern we may to be in for in the coming months. I mostly fear the dryness as we only have a 16' dug well for water...

Sunday, June 3, 2018

This week in weather

We have some nice, cool days and nights followed by typical summertime warmth. But, dry, dry, dry.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Maine Audubon Naturalist's June Almanac

I thought I'd start a new post for each month. As a member of Maine Audubon, I get the quarterly "Habitat" magazine which lists three months worth of Almanac tidbits. Here is the Naturalist's Almanac for June:

June 3 Harbor Seal pups will come to shore to rest. Give them space - their moms are probably nearby.
June 10 Alewives are making their annual migrations from the ocean up rivers to spawn.
June 11 Look for Common Eider ducklings along Maine's coast. Females will gather their young in groups called creches.
June 21 Today marks the Summer Solstice.
June 25 Are you seeing baby birds around? Report them to the Maine Bird Atlas!

Here is a video of the painted turtle filling in her nest hole. Drew increased the speed by 80x as the actual process took about an hour!

Painted Turtle lays eggs

As soon as I got home from school, I hightailed it outside to give my gardens some lovin'. As I was wandering around, pulling weeds and chattering away to my plants, I almost stepped on a female painted turtle who was laying her eggs in the driveway.
I ran inside to get the video camera in hopes of capturing egg drop. By the time I returned, she had finished laying eggs and was filling in the nest hole. I was bummed, but videotaped this process anyway!
When she was done, she started walking toward the road. I put on some leather gloves, picked her up and transported her over to the pond. I do this as we live on a busy road and way too many female turtles have bit the dust while trying to cross back over to the pond. She scooted into the water lickety split. 

Hatching will occur in about 65 to 72 days  (August 5 - August 12.)