The snow is finally completely gone – I think! It feels like summer most of the time, except on those 45 degree drizzly days. In the last few days it got up to 80 degrees, and we’ve had thunderstorms and almost two inches of rain.
Moths and butterflies have been scarce, but there are plenty of flowers blooming.
Spring flowers in the remnant prairies –
Bird’s Foot Violet
Small White Violet
Marsh Marigold in the wetlands
More Marsh Marigolds
And apple blossoms – we have lots of old apple trees scattered through the woods, and even though they’re not native, I love seeing and smelling the blossoms.
This is Maple Hill – the new land that we added to the farm last summer. There’s no evidence that it’s been logged – at least for a very long time. The ground layer of the woods in in good shape, with lots of ferns and spring flowers.
Here are some of the Maple Hill woodland flowers.
Bishop’s Cap – one of my favorites
Blue Cohosh – a new one for the farm. We don’t have this plant on the other part of our land.
A Scarlet Tanager on Maple Hill
Another special bird we saw last week was a Lazuli Bunting. They’re rare in Wisconsin – their normal range is in the western U.S. This one appeared at the farm for a few hours on May 19th. Just after I took these pictures, there was a violent wind and rain storm, and I didn’t see him after that.
His coloring looks like a bluebird from the front, but he has a fat seed-eater’s beak.
This is Garlic Mustard time – when I police the farm for Garlic Mustard infestations. I found – and removed – a few new patches that I must have missed last year, and worked on some of the worst patches. But some of the areas where I pulled last year are nearly Garlic Mustard free this year. I’m hopeful that I’m at least keeping up.
Garlic Mustard in it’s early stage – pre-flowering. This week it’s got flowers and some seeds, so I have to hurry and finish pulling it before the seeds start to disperse.
Our friend Martha came down to help pull Garlic Mustard, and to enjoy the springtime scenery. Here are Martha and Mike on the Big View bench.
This is the time of year when we start seeing fawns running with their mothers, or curled up in the grass. Here are a few that were caught by the wildlife cameras.
This was a moth I found during the day – well camouflaged on a dead leaf. It’s called The Wedgeling.
And a few nighttime moths
Darker Diacme Moth
Another view of the Yellow Slant-line. Some moths hold their wings like butterflies.
There hasn’t been much sun, but I’ve seen a few butterflies.
And today, our first Monarch of the season. It looks more like a painting than a photo because it was taken from pretty far away, using digital zoom.