Journal for April 4, 2017

We’ve been getting rain, instead of snow, for the last few weeks,   we’ve seen the first butterflies, and the Wood Frogs are calling – sure signs of spring.  

My weekly bird lists are getting longer – Bluebirds, Blackbirds, Robins, Phoebes, Song Sparrows, Vultures, Woodcocks,and Yellow-rumped Warblers have all arrived.   The mornings are full of their songs.

We drove up the hill early one morning, to clear the winter’s fallen trees from our paths, and saw a thick layer of mist rising up from the valley to our north.


We’re still working hard on Hidden Oaks hillside – trying to get the slash cleared off before plants start growing.  We’re getting close – we’re hoping we can finish up in a few more days.


The white deer is still around – we’ve been seeing it both on the trail cameras, and in the prairies in front of the house.  It’s still staying pretty far away for photos, but Mike got this one – from far away and through the trees.


One morning a coyote ran up the hill while we were walking by.  It got to the top, and sat and watched us for as long as we could see it.  We’re thinking it may be a mom with babies to protect.


Coyote watching


A woodchuck came out and was busily nosing around on the cliff behind the house.


This is my favorite sign of spring – an Infant Moth.  It’s a day-flying moth that’s nearly always the first moth I see.  On warm sunny days we see them at wet spots on the driveway – they fly up as we walk by.


And one lovely 60 degree day we saw our first butterflies.  Most were Eastern Commas.


But a few were Compton Tortoiseshells – a much less common butterfly.


Part of my moth-lighting set up is a piece of particle board that’s been sitting in the garage all winter.  When I pulled it out, it had these fungi growing on it.  I’d never seen ones like them before.  They’re Schizophyllum commune – as far as I know they don’t have a common name.


Schizophyllum commune


Schizophyllum commune


I set up my lights – as well as some moth bait – for the first time this spring, and attracted lots of  moths.

This one is not very common – and also doesn’t have a common name.  Lithophane scottae


Roland’s Sallow


The Half-wing


The beavers have been working hard on the dam they’ve built by our culvert.  It doesn’t block the culvert – yet – but I think we may have to modify it a bit to protect our road.  This is the beaver lake before the dam got very high.


Beavers at work



This is what the lake looked like today.


We’re hoping we can modify the dam a bit, and still preserve the lake.


Beaver Lake looking down from the road


Mike has started the spring mowing projects – a bit earlier than usual.  Here’s Armund’s Gap and Hidden Oaks Meadow – newly mowed.