Wednesday, September 17, 2008

INDIAN SUMMER

Well after a brief skirmish with Hurricane Ike last weekend we are back to perfect late summer days. It is hard to stay indoors when everything looks so beautiful outside. The light is less harsh, the heat is gentler and everything just seems a little softer than at the height of summer.

There are less butterflies around, most of the Monarchs have headed south, but there are still a few Painted Ladies Vanessa cardui, enjoying the Canada Golden Rod Solidago canadensis.

The pond is full of Blue Gill Lepomis cyanellus so although the mature Great Blue Herons Ardea herodias have moved south, the immature ones are still around, making the most of the lack of competition for food.

They are not the only ones feeding up for the approaching winter, the squirrels look chubbier every day. City squirrels never seem to lack for food though! They will always resort to hurling abuse at you from the nearest tree if there is no food offered!!

The turtles are still around, pulling out onto logs to soak up the sun. Unfortunately there will be a few less baby ones around, I found this stash of turtle eggs that had obviously been dug up and eaten by something, probably racoon or rat. The white pieces in the foreground are turtle egg shells. If they had hatched naturally the egg shells would have remained below ground and the newly emerged turtles would have dug there way out.

We also seem to have a new resident in the pond. This lodge has been growing over the past couple of months and small trees have gradually been disappearing from around the waters edge! I have yet to see the resident, some think they have seen a muskrat and some swear they have seen a beaver. When the lodge was smaller I would have gone with the muskrat theory but the size it is now, maybe we do have a beaver around! The jury is still out!



Photo Credits - CJT

8 comments:

Louise said...

Nice post with so many interesting elements! The squirrels are so fun!

Celeste said...

louise - If ever I am in a bad mood, the squirrels will always make me smile with their cheeky antics - thay are real city characters!

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

How do you tell an adult from a juve GBH? I love all the photos Celeste..

Celeste said...

Michelle - the easiest way, I find to tell the adult and immature GBH apart is, the adult has white on the crown of its head with black on either side and a black plume at the back of the head. The immature shows no white on the top of the head and lacks a plume. A little less distinctive is the differences on the neck, generally the immature will have a darker grey neck with less speckling, the adult will have a paler grey neck, sometimes almost white at the front with very distinctive dark speckles. I hope this helps - enjoy your birding :)

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you Celeste..I am going to look over some of my GBH photos to see what I might have...

Celeste said...

Michelle - I shall look forward to seeing your pictures.

Kathiesbirds said...

How sad about the turtle eggs. How exciting about the muskrat/beaver. I hope you'll keep us posted on who is the architect!

Celeste said...

Kathie - It is sad, we have so many raccoons and coyotes around that it is really hard for turtles to make it.

I will try and get updates on the beaver/muskrat but it is a very elusive creature!