The Homestone

Saturday, April 04, 2015

April has arrived

And here's a post from David for a change of pace : )

News from the meadow ....
Our early spring runoff peaked today and the high spots on the meadow started to reappear. This morning, a half dozen green winged teals worked the edges of the nearest shore with a pair of mallards. They would be on their way north and taking advantage of our temporary lake to refuel. At noon a pair of mature trumpeter swans dropped in with last years cygnets and made their way to the little island to rest and preen where they felt safe, providing a wonderful opportunity for some video footage.
Our robins have begun to arrive en masse, Nicky counting seventy eight without moving off the deck. Three pairs of tree swallows have checked out their nests and are working the edges of the meadow for insects. The flickers are beginning their mating rituals, flashing their bright colours from side to side in unison as they watch the sky for interference.
And then there is old yellow legs who is taking advantage of the large population of birds in the area and making his terrible presence felt ... The thicket that Nicky had Vince build helps the junco and blackbirds escape his sudden appearance, however he gets the slow and weak and keeps everyone on their toes!
Its been a bird filled day ... but not without critters. Nicky saw a big healthy coyote in the mill yard today and the squirrels have been risking the open ground to the bird feeder to try their luck again.
We keep our beavers fed to protect our local aspens, and it always gives us an easy viewing and photographing opportunity. Vince puts new trees into the holes he has made for the purpose at the edge of the beaver pond, and they come and fall them at dusk.
They wintered well and are fat and sassy, cruising up to us then disappearing in a noisy shower of water.
Hope you enjoy the pictures : )

Green wing teals and mallards ...

Green Winged Teals headed north

at noon, four swans arrive for a rest

trumpeters and last years cygnets
the cygnets are still learning but the male is feeling his independence ...
Mature trumpeter swans ... The largest swan in the world.
a cruise downwind so the wind is in their favour for takeoff ...
We get robins!
They gather in the fall by the hundreds and then disappear ... I don't know how far they migrate but I assume they go somewhat south and toward the coast. Too cold for them here, and they forage for insects mainly. The forest here supports a lot of robins, but when the arrive, they work our lawns for earthworms and leather-jacket larvae.
Flicker Ritual
Mom standing (four or five) and two year old daughter
our ubiquitous geese who keep their distance but tolerate us ...
This aspen trunk lasted a couple of days ...

Momma gives us the eye ...

and her warning slap ...
and the swans are on their way ...

Happy April one and all ... 
And be warned :) t'is the season of a billion pics from the meadow folk.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The tail end of March on the Meadow

"Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away."
 By Mary Oliver from her Poem "Such Singing in the Wild Branches"

We are so enjoying this crazy beautiful wild time of year!  Warm spring days followed by overnight snowfalls that melt in the sun by noon.  Half of the walk around our meadow is stuck in winter, half is full-on spring and makes a glorious stroll. 

We've had some tremendous March winds the past few weeks so there are trees down here and there that must be dealt with. Some we leave where they lie to offer habitat for critters and to build the soil. Trees that have fallen across our trails will go to our mill yard to turn into floors or counter tops or bookshelves in the addition we're building.

The beavers in our beaver pond are up and about and busy.  The ducks and geese and blackbirds are back, the yellow legs and robins, and a small contingent of swallows have arrived.
Life is good and we are well and truly blessed! 

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Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Early Spring arrivals and a lovely sunny morning

 Care to join me on my morning walk today?  I got out just as the sun was coming up (about 8am) and as luck would have it, it was the sunniest it's been all day.  I'm pretty happy about my timing.  The light was just right.

A few of our spring birds arrived today!  That's very exciting!!  Our lone red winged blackbird who made a brief appearance the other day is now back and on routine, awaiting the rest of his flock, who usually arrive about 10 days after their scout.  
Two Robins appeared and a large flock of Snow Buntings!! 

 Oh thank goodness for spring! Though I want it to come slowly, with time to notice every change and new arrival.
 Thanks for joining me on my walk about this morning.  
See you tomorrow? :)