Sunday, May 27, 2018

Weekly Weather

After the coolness of the weekend, we are getting into somewhat warmer temps. It is truly going to take awhile to get used to warm weather...not my favorite. But, I do love the gardening and boating so summertime isn't all bad!

Saturday, May 12, 2018


We have a good crop of chipmunks this year! They have nest holes in many locations on our property. One chipster, in particular, was hauling so much seed to his hidey hole that the birds weren't getting their fair share. So, Drew cranked up the seed feeder high enough that chippy couldn't access it anymore!

Colorful birds at our feeding station

We have a male Baltimore Oriole who visits the jelly station.
We love springtime as it brings more colorful birds to the feeding station. Drew maintains a grape jelly feeder, a hummingbird feeder, a suet feeder, and a seed feeder.
The Baltimore Oriole male does not seem to have a mate as yet. Last year there were baby orioles which was magical!
This year, we do have a mated pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. I haven't photographed the female yet, but the male is gorgeous!
The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks love the seed feeder. I think the black-oil sunflower seeds are their favorite food!
The other colorful bird at our seed feeder is the goldfinch. We only seem to have a few of them around this year. In past years we have had large flocks of goldfinches, but the number of songbirds is dwindling at an alarming rate.
And, lastly, there is Ernest P Mowerbird who is the official guardian of the feeding stations. Made of mower parts, he is a formidable, metal-sculptured creature!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Springtime weather in Maine

Every week I think we are out of the overnight temps in the 30's, and I am proven wrong, wrong, wrong! Frost warning!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Mallards on Caesar Pond

Trio of male mallards at the north end of the pond.
I was bemoaning the fact that we just aren't seeing the variety of ducks on the pond, over the last few years, that we used to see. No buffleheads, no mergansers, few geese. Well at least we still have a few mallards quacking around!  (Click on any photo for more of a close-up view.)
As I got nearer to them, two of the three decided to take offense and take flight;-)
I always get such a kick out of their bright, red feet! And, I love their blue wing bands.
Quacking all the way... off into the wild, blue yonder!
That left the lone male to decide what he wanted to do...He seemed happily quacky.
But, then he couldn't see hanging out by himself, so up and away he went!
He was gorgeous. I got sort of a double exposure of his right wing!
I hope this grand fellow brings back a mate so we can have some cute ducklings on the pond this year.

Of Beavers and Geese

I went out onto the pond this morning. It was a bit later than I usually go, but I figured I'd still see the beaver somewhere, so I headed over to the beaver lodge first.
As I was hanging out at the lodge, the beaver came swimming by and tail slapped the water. I tried to capture video footage of him, but the camera I was using didn't have image stabilization on it (the 70-D), and the footage was too wobbly. I'll have to try again next week.
Goose tucked into the grasses of the island. Note the feathers everywhere indicating a nest.
As I was poking around the lodge, I spied a goose snoozing on an island close by. 
At first I thought that it was dead as I had been knocking all around the island during my beaver lodged investigation and I'd never seen the goose, nor had it moved.
Then, it lifted its head as if to say, "What the heck are you doing on my side of the pond?"
It got up and walked to the edge of the island, honked a bunch of times and jumped into the water. It swam away to lure me from the nest. It's mate also made an appearance.
Once the geese were satisfied that I was no longer a threat, they settled back down to take care of the eggs and do guard duty.

Trout Lily

I love trout lilies. I have several clumps of them scattered around the property. They really like the north edge of the woods and the triangle in the front yard.
Their yellow flowers are so welcomed after the whiteness of winter...

Focus on tulips!

 Yesterday, the giant crocuses were my focus of interest. And, today the tulips have begun to bloom!
I photographed one pink tulip as these are a new color for me. I've always loved red and orange, but since Shannon's favorite color is pink, I decided to plant some, and I love them!
I am always fascinated by the variety of pistil and stamen arrangements in flowers, and here is the middle of the pink tulip.
And, even closer up! Note the pollen maturing on the stamen!
I have a tiny row of Firespray tulips edging the north garden.
The Firespray tulips come in red and yellow. I find the pistil and stamen reminding me of a spider.
Here is the yellow Firespray tulip.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Stump Demolition 101

I have been using this rotting maple stump as a flower pot holder for years. I knew that it wouldn't be up to the task this year, so I thought I would help it along this afternoon.
I tried to use only my left arm to do the demolition as I am still nursing my broken right wrist. I was mostly successful... As a bonus, I got lots of great mulch from the center of the tree;-) And, surprise, surprise, I didn't get bitten by any swarm of ants. I always have to be careful when working around this stump as there has been a nest of carpenter ants in it for years. They take great strides to protect their nest from intruders like me!

Spring Flowers make me smile

Main stump garden with daffodils and giant hyacinths
My spring flowers make me smile. To be honest, they make me swoon when looking upon their beauty. I cannot stop staring at them, and my yard has many clumps of gorgeousness! Here is the main stump garden as it looks this week.
Secondary stump garden with pink and blue giant hyacinths. The black locust stump decays very slowly.
And, here is the secondary stump garden as of this week.
I am in love with the giant hyacinths.
And here is a close-up of the blue hyacinth.
The giant pink hyacinths almost look like candy canes!
And the daffodils line the north side of our property as well as being located in the stump gardens.
Large yellow daffodil
I love the daffodils. They have such different personalities!
Double Daffodil
Double daffodils have double the personality!
Bloodroot flowers are found sprinkled throughout the gardens.
The tulips are just coming into flower. They will be opening soon.
And, this year we have pink larkspur. I have four small clumps that will hopefully increase in girth over the years. I love the foliage.
And, the larkspur flowers are so long and tubular!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wednesday's high temperature shock

Oh boy, the fast temperature rise is going to be a true shock to our systems for sure! I am not a fan of such a fast increase in temp.!

Xerces Society Poster - Which Living Things Should You Study?

I love this poster! many avenues to follow, and so little time to study! I am game for studying lots of things, depending on the day.
Me? I kinda ended up at birds as I love to go boating, at sunrise in the summertime, and sit at the north end enjoying the first birds to be active. But, then I also ended up at Odonates as I love using my close-up camera lens to photograph dragonflies!

Check out the Xerces Society website for lots of great information on the conservation of invertebrates considered to be essential to biological diversity and ecosystem health.

Weather Warning Statement - Warm air - Cold Water

Special Weather Statement for Sagadahoc County, Maine

Issued by: Portland - ME, US, National Weather Service,

...Warm Temperatures and Dangerously Cold Water... The warm temperatures expected over the next several days combined with very cold waters will create a hidden danger to those venturing out on the water, particularly those on kayaks and canoes. Water temperatures are mostly in the 40s in the lakes, rivers, and streams across the area. Many lakes just had ice-out conditions during the last two weeks and melting snow continues to feed into some of our rivers and streams. Ocean water temperatures are currently in the mid 40s. Without cold water protective gear, these temperatures will incapacitate even a good swimmer in minutes. Of course, paddlers should always wear a life jacket, but they should also be aware that a life jacket will not protect you from cold water.  

Chilly morning start to May

Brrr...winter just cannot seem to lose it's grasp too soon! We are sitting at 32F at 5:30 am!