204: Running out of words

It’s pretty amazing how quickly and efficiently life reasserts itself when it’s time for it to do so in the spring.  Plants and trees that barely had buds on them yesterday have leaves and in some cases, flowers today.

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180: Of bugs and bones

(Attracted to the clean laundry.)

After posting yesterday I decided to go out for a stroll around the pond.  The weather was too nice not to.  Even Izzy agreed it was a great day to be outdoors.

(Izzy joyfully rolling around on the warm flagstones.)

Izzy, being a bit of a ‘fraidy cat, tends to hide under the deck.  You know it’s a nice day when she decides to come out.


Shortly after I started my walk I came across some bones scattered on the lawn by one of the old maple trees.  I was amazed at how clean they were, as if they had been out there for a while, weathering in the sun.  I’m not sure what the animal was, but I’m thinking an opossum based on the shape of the jaw.  It has that snouty sort of look to it.

Leaving the bones behind, I moved on to the garden area.  The pussy willow, which lives near the garden, is covered with catkins now.  I couldn’t quite capture the rainbow colors in the catkins that were in being highlighted by the sun.


There were two ducks (Buffleheads) swimming around the pond, occasionally flying from one end to the other when they thought I was too close.  They don’t make it easy to photograph them, that’s for sure.  This is the first year we’ve had Buffleheads come for a visit.

(Flies on freshly cut wood.)

I could be wrong but I think the flies will be bad this year.  M has been out chopping wood and thinning trees lately, and I noticed yesterday that the freshly cut wood was covered with flies.  Most of them dispersed when I stepped closer to take a photo.

At the back of the pond, the maple trees are sprouting these little fuzzy things.  I could tell before I got back there something was going on with the trees as they are looking fuller, almost as if the leaves are ready to burst out.

The turtles are out and about.  I saw three of them, sunning themselves by the side of the pond.  They were too fast for me to capture with the camera.  They looked like common mud turtles.  I also saw evidence that the bigger fish are stirring.  I didn’t see the fish themselves, but lots of ripples and splashes.  There are lots of small fish hanging around near the edges of the pond.  They don’t seem to mind my company as much as the bigger fish do.

Today’s walk

I didn’t see the turtles today although I did see the mud clouds they make in the pond when they disappear into the mud and leaves at the bottom.  What I did get a good gander at was a muskrat.  I do hope there are some mink around somewhere to take care of the muskrat.

There was only one little duckie out on the pond.  He didn’t seem to mind me too much.  He kept swimming back and forth on the other side of the pond, keeping pace with me.

The creek is finally making its way back to its banks, leaving behind a mess of mud and debris.  I don’t know if we’ll bother to clean any of that up or not.  A couple of good rains and it’s all likely to get washed away.

I did notice that I can see the old barn stones once again.  I can’t remember the last time I saw them.  Probably not since the first snowfall.  The barn stones are on the neighbor’s property.  The guy that used to live over there wanted to sell them.  We offered to buy a few.  He said no.  He wanted to sell them all at once as a big group.  When he didn’t find any buyers, he did the spiteful thing.  He hauled them down to the creek and dumped them.


Sometimes people do the strangest things.

It’s cloudy and in the 40’s here today.  Rain is coming.  That will be followed by snow on Thursday and Friday, with temperatures dipping back down below freezing.

I hope the flowers make it through Winter’s brief return.  There are so many daffodils and tulips out there looking ready to bloom.  Hopefully they will hold off until it warms up again.

A visitor from the pond

While M and I were enjoying our lunch today, a turtle came wandering up from the pond.  Sense of scale is hard to convey when you don’t want to get too close, but this was a grandmother or grandfather turtle, well sized with what looks like a lot of life behind her/him.

The turtles in this area are migrating now.  Unfortunately, some don’t make it across the roadways.  This snapper had made her way up the hill from the pond.  For a few minutes we worried that she was headed for the trench.  Since we poured the concrete on Sunday, we’ve had some rainwater settle in the trench along with mud.  M — while bailing out the water — found four frogs trying to take up residence in there.  Removing the frogs from the trench was no big deal.  Removing this giant of a snapper would not have been so easy.

In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews writes this about turtles:

Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth.  In Mother Earth is all that we need.  She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us, as long as we do the same for her.  For that to happen, we must slow down and heighten our sensibilities.  We must see the connection to all things.  Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the Earth.

A couple of weeks ago I read this blog post at Grace-full Thoughts which made me ponder my own role in the BP oil spill in terms of how I use petroleum and petroleum products.

M and I both try to conserve energy, live in a “green” way, and reduce any negative impact we may have on the earth.  Among other things, we compost, plant trees, recycle and/or reuse, consolidate errands when we have to drive to the store, and have begun to take more and more trips that don’t involve a car to get around.  Still, I think we could do better.  Having the turtle join us for lunch this afternoon reminded me of that.

I hope it made it safely to wherever it was headed.  It came close to the trench but then veered off to the right and continued uphill, disappearing into the grass.  There are quite a few ponds in this area where it can make a new home.  I’d like to think the old Grandmother Turtle is settling in now, enjoying the change of scenery and looking for the best feeding spots.

(Weekend sunset.)