Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wildlife & Plant Happenings at Bug Hill Farm

The spring procession with all its familiar sights and sounds wake up my winter dulled senses!   A "romp" of otters recently cavorted in the pond, splashing like toddlers and accompanied by a chorus of spring peepers, wood frogs, and red wing black birds' liquid songs.  Beaver have emerged from their lodge, and a pair of wood ducks raised my hopes that they may stay and nest.  A pair of mallards with the male's iridescent green neck visited, along with a pair of mergansers, and of course our much maligned (some would say unjustly, just because they are common) Canadian Geese have returned to nest on one of the beaver lodges. The geese have a daily routine of morning grazing in the hayfield across the road, then flying over the farm noisily splashing down in the pond for evening refuge.  A wildlife biologist I knew in grad school used to say "keep the common common" meaning with all the focus on diminishing rarer species, let's not forget that the common needs to be kept common (conservation and protection for all species, rare and common, before it becomes threatened as well.

Alma rolling in the Bluets

Coltsfoot, a naturalized European is blooming (leaves appear after flowering) and in the field, black currants are leafing out, the new shoots aroma perfectly captures the medicinal hint of the ripe fruit used to make Cassis.  I love this smell! Bluets or Quaker Ladies just starting to bloom are Alma's favorite for rolling in (but then so is just about everything including the most pungent scat she can find on the trails!)  Up at this elevation (1700') spring comes late - maples flower buds are just beginning to show color and blueberry buds are tight and green with promise of the flowers and fruits to come.  Early flowers like maple and Cornelian Cherry (in bloom for the last week) are important nectar for native bumblebees until later bloomers like native blueberries come in.

Hope you can join Alma and I on our next excursion!


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