Friday, June 28, 2013

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

June is a month full of celebrations for my husband and I.  Father's Day, Our wedding anniversary and we both celebrate birthdays in June.  My daughter and grandchildren know how much we enjoy feeding the birds and how annoying it can be to us when Squirrels come along and empty the feeders and eat all the bird food.
They thoughtfully and wisely chose a gift that would be useful and much appreciated by us.  They chose to give us a squirrel proof bird feeder!  But their anxious concern was, Will it really work so the squirrels cannot get into the bird  food?

What a wonderful gift this is.
In the first picture you can see a Gray Squirrel on the roof of the bird feeder.
The second picture  above shows the squirrel looking in checking to see if there is food in the feeder and yes, there is, It will  be able see lots of sunflower seeds inside! At the bottom of the bird feeder you can see an opening; that is where the birds feed from. Also notice there are two red bars at the bottom of the feeder. If any weight is put on the bottom bars then the feeder will close as the opening will be covered by a red covering.  Watch what happened next!!!!!
 The squirrel has its paw on the bottom bar and that caused the cover to come down over the opening and has closed the feeder!
 The covering stays in place as long as the squirrel's paw rests on the bottom bar! 

No matter how it squirms around  or what position it takes, as long as its paw is holding the bar down it cannot reach the food!!!
The Squirrel finally gives up and jumps down from the bird feeder!
As the squirrel removes its paw the feeder opening is uncovered  again, and the bird feeder is available for the birds to feed there again. What a great gift family!!!  It works! We love it, but I don't think the squirrel does!

Wood Turtle Crossing the Road

 It seems to be my destiny lately to see a lot of turtles.  Usually it is Snapping Turtles but this morning I encountered a Wood Turtle crossing the Mast Road at Three Tree Creek!

 The legs and neck casing of the Wood turtle is patterned with red, rather pretty I think!

 The shell of the Wood turtle is patterned in whorled ridges and splashes of yellow!
A slight view of the underneath of this turtle can be seen in this sideways view above.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yellow Underwing Moth

I found this beautiful moth on the sidewalk outside ofd my home this morning.  I think the folded drape of its yellow underwing is so beautiful and delicate looking.  A.K.A.. Noctua Pronuba, originally an European moth which has made its way across North America now

Also found this morning a Northern Crescent butterfly

A Snapping Turtle Crossing the Road

Why did the Snapping Turtle cross the road?  At this time of year there are lots of snapping turtle sightings, often they are seen on roads or highways, for they have places to go.  A Snapping Turtle will return to its hatching site to lay its eggs and its surprising the determination they have  and their directional sense!  Its almost as if they have a built in GPS.
The turtle we saw yesterday was   very small.  It was perhaps the smallest snapping turtle I have ever seen.  Its shell length would have been about 7-8 inches in length.

There was a lot of traffic on the highway ( hwy #101) and we were very concerned that it might be hit by a car, so we considered how to get it out of harm's way.  NEVER, NEVER. NEVER, ever pick up a snapping turtle!  It has a strong dangerous, strong mouth and as its name suggests, it is a snapper, and it could snap your fingers right off!
My husband found a broken branch nearby and by pushing the branch at the turtle, the turtle was gently urged towards the ditch on the other side of the road which appeared to be the destination of the turtle.
The turtle was not too happy with this urging and repeatedly snapped at the branch pushing it.
But 'all is well that ends well' and once it was safely on the other side of the road, which was the direction it was headed to, it cooperatively hurried down into the ditch area.

Stay safe turtle!!  Stay off highways!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Rhythms of Nature: Snapping Turtles Egg Laying

I sometimes think I am so fortunate to be able to predict or know when to look for special happenings in nature.  For example: ever since we came across a Snapping Turtle laying eggs in June, 2000 , we have observed and looked for and found the same happening reoccur each year in mid to late June.  The same is happening again this year.
I had been searching for the past  few weeks  and on Thursday of this week, my searchings were rewarded for I found a Snapping Turtle in the river.  From my past experiences and observations this sighting indicated to me that the turtle would come out of the river and climb the tall embankments near the river there, and search out its old nest site , and dig a hole and lay its eggs there.

But first these  pictures before the  rest of the story is told.If you look carefully you can see in turtle in the river near the shore in the two photos below and the ones above..

                            Only the head of the turtle was above water.
This photo above shows the turtle positioning itself to climb out of the river.

From experience of years past This spot of sand and gravel will be the turtles destination. This is where Snapping Turtles lay their eggs each year.  I doubt that this year will be any different. This location is quite a distance from the river.  to reach it the turtle must climb a big embankment and struggle through the hillside venation to reach it.

Later on that same day, in the afternoon I found the turtle had achieved its long climb up the embankment,Here it is, looking all tuckered out!
I didn't see the turtle  again but the next morning I found that the sand and gravel in the old nest site had been visited and disturbed!  The disturbed nest site suggested to me that the snapping turtle had probably laid her eggs there and then sometime during the night returned to the river.
I shall occassionally check on this nest site  over the summer with hopes that the eggs are not dug up by any predators and shall hope I catch the moment of hatching in three months time!
Above the disturbed sand ( soil) at the nest site the next morning The turtle probably laid her eggs there.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

recent butterfly sightings

                                                              Swallowtail butterfly

                                                           Northern Crescent butterfly

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My early morning drive today!

I start each day by taking my camera for an early morning drive around our village and find much beauty to share.  these pictures are an example of what I found this morning!
 The Oromocto River was very blue and beautiful this morning!
 This photo surprised me as I downloaded it, as I didn't know there was a fawn with the doe when I took the picture!
                      Looking into the darkness of the forest.
                 A doe in the meadow feeding early this morning.
                   A sunlit meadow full of yellow wildflowers.
                                  Mist rising over the river.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Magnificent poppies with a 'dash' of sunlight

A Dash Of Sunlight:
Just add a 'dash of sunlight ,
and ordinary takes flight!


delicate tissue,
unfolds its beauty,
the beauty issues, creating this golden delight!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Wild Blue Flag and Iris in My Garden for TODAYS FLOWERS

There is a strong similarity in appearance between the wildflower Blue Flag and cultivated Iris found in flower gardens.  Their colouring and patterning is very similar as is their time of blooming.  At the present time roadsides and meadows are flowing with the beauty of the Wild Blue Flag and in our garden  our Iris have just come into bloom during the recent rainy days.  I will let the photos do the talking for the rest of this post;  The first four photos are of the Wild Blue Flag:

 The next two photos are in my garden . I shall try to get better pictures of this cultivated Iris later on today as the garden dries.