Kathryn has been running a couple of miles most days. Her path takes her through our woods, along our meadow and up a long hill through our neighbor’s pastures and then back again. She often sees wildlife, but more often sees their tracks or scat or spots them as they leave her field of view. She composed this during her run this weekend.
I don’t look up when I run
Though I try, I look down.
A tripping branch or wet leaf
Pulls my eyes to the ground.
So when I intrude and
the hawk screams at me,
I see him flying away –
Not perched in his tree.
Kathryn got ‘tagged’ in the arm by a bee as she was walking to her car this AM on her way to a dentist appointment. Talk about adding insult to injury. She came back in the house and asked me to extract it with tweezers. It was a big sucker and clearly the bee gave up its life to attack Kathryn.
We have enjoyed the Red Tail Hawks who nested in the tall spruce trees directly across the road from our house. I believe they may have built a nest there last year, but we were not aware of it. This year we spotted the nest and the hawk activity at the end of March. We can’t see in the nest, but we watch and hear the nesting exchange and we see the hawks hunt.
One of the hawks favorite hunting locations is sitting in our spruce trees to watch the birds coming to our bird feeders and survey the pasture.
I celebrated the 20 year birthday of my Volvo 240 (106,000 miles) by washing and waxing it.
The hailstorm we received on Tuesday provided marble sized hail that made pock marks in our hot tub cover.
Sunday we took another hike. Up Kirkland hill, reversing the loop, going out to the logging road, to the old foundation and back through devastation field. In some places the trail flagging we had placed was over our heads now that we lost 2-3′ of snow.
We saw this chipmunk.
Friday afternoon Kathryn and I took a hike around the 3 mile loop that we skied and snow shoed this winter. Needless to say things look different. The daffodils we planted just across the road are in full blossom and are scattered about the woods.
Back by cook out corner there are lots of purple trillium in bloom.
Parts of the ski trail were really wet. Especially so after the record thunderstorms we had earlier this week. We saw this Skunk Cabbage at the start of what is now a the Swamp of Many Flags.
We found these begonia looking plants in a bog near one of the deer stands. After further research we identified them as Marsh Marigolds. Related to Buttercups, but causing skin irritation when handled. We discovered that every part of the plant is strongly irritant, and cases are on record of serious effects produced by rashly experimenting with it.
Last night we went to Hamilton College to hear Anders Halverson the author of An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World discuss his book. It was enlightening. Who knew that Rainbow Trout had such a limited native range and were so heavily promoted.
Suppose that, more than a century ago, U.S. government officials became concerned democracy itself was at risk because men seemed to be less virile. And to reverse this trend they decided to populate streams, rivers, and lakes with “an entirely ‘synthetic’ fish”—quarry with which Americans could rediscover their abilities to capture and kill animals. And suppose that, up to the present, these creatures were still being produced and distributed on a massive scale, sometimes even being trained like gladiators and pumped full of the same supplements as the best human athletes so that they would provide a better fight.
Such is the true story of the rainbow trout. Sometimes vilified for their devastating effects on the native fauna, sometimes glorified as the preeminent sport fish, the rainbow trout is the repository of more than a century of America’s often contradictory philosophies about the natural world. Exhaustively researched and grippingly rendered by award-winning journalist, aquatic ecologist, and lifelong fisherman Anders Halverson, this book chronicles the discovery of rainbow trout, their artificial propagation and distribution, and why they are being eradicated in some waters yet are still the most commonly stocked fish in the United States.
We have a kestrel family living nearby and frequently see one of them sitting on a nearby telephone wire surveying the pastures for grasshoppers, frogs and small mice. This past weekend we got a close look as the kestrel camped out on top of our laundry post looking for pond dwellers.
Our major home project this weekend was assembling a closet organizer for Eric’s room. Once having done one of these I am sure we could assemble the 2nd one much faster.
We also stripped wallpaper in the living room, cut up some of the nail-less boards and got the windows washed with help from Kaitlyn.
As I drove on Route 10 from Canjoharie to Sharon Springs on my way to visit my mom I noticed a flock of large birds roosting in the trees along a fence line. As I drove by I saw they were Turkey Vultures and there must have been close to 30 of them. I stopped my car, turned around and went back to snap a couple of pictures. I counted 28 vultures in this photo and there were more back in the trees, a few across the road, a couple circling and, of course, a few feeding.
There was a dead bloated deer carcass in the ditch that attracted them.
The next morning it was foggy as I made my return trip, but they were still there; looking spooky in the fog.