“So come get ready. Don’t delay! We’re on a nature trail today.”
~Maurice Pledger, from In The Forest
We are finishing up a year now (12 months) since I started the Nature Walks series on Seed To Seedling. It’s been fun for me to look back over the year and see how quickly autumn set in, and then winter, here in Central New York. I hope my readers have enjoyed the series, I know I have.
For this month of May, the best stuff of the year really is opening up and showing it’s face here in our woods: we’ve got the trilliums, the jack-in-the-pulpits, and this year wood ducks, which I wrote a post about on my blog Seedling: The Best Gift I’ve Had All Year. Well, with no further adieu, here’s the good stuff:
My favorite yearly gifts of the woods, the Great White Trilliums grow sparsely off our trail. Trilliums are interesting flowers in many ways, particularly in that the clump by the maple the pileated woodpecker drilled holes into probably consists of numerous individuals of the same plant. To find out more about trillium cloning, check out another of my posts on Seedling: Spring is Trilliums! When we first moved in, I stressed to Elizabeth how special the trilliums are, and now she is an avid protector of the flowers.
I still remember the first time that I saw a jack-in-the-pulpit on this property: it was when my grandfather was still living in the house. I was back from college visiting, majoring in Environmental and Forest Biology, and was so excited to find one of them off the trail. My grandfather acted like it was no big deal, they’d been there for the past 30 years, they weren’t going anywhere. That’s not to say that he didn’t love and treasure his woods though, because he did. Now, I get to share these neat plants with my kids. Elizabeth and I have had quite a few conversations about carnivorous plants.
This creepy bug is creepy. I don’t know what it is, nor if it bites, but it gives me the heeby-jeebies for some reason. We found it on the front screen door one day. Neither Elizabeth nor I wanted to touch it, but Paul did eventually spot it and grabbed it. It is interesting to me in how the wings are unmistakably camouflaged to look like the bark of a tree.
Here’s another fun bug: what I believe to be a male stag beetle. Elizabeth had all ready gone to bed one night when I happened to go outside and encounter this baby on the front porch step. Since I had just heard her talking in her room, I tapped and called her out to see it. She thought it was pretty neat since it is about the size of my thumb nail or longer.
Lastly, one night, while at my mother’s house, we happened upon this baby robin on the ground. I used to volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center, so thinking that it needed saving, we put it in a box and I called the local-est rehabilitator that I knew of. I do recall the woman I volunteered for saying often that many baby birds are “rescued” when they don’t really need to be, and my younger sister had recently had a similar baby bird experience, so we looked it up on the internet about whether we needed to wait for the return call from the rehabilitator or set the bird free. The site she found said that if the little bird has feathers, it’s a fledgling and does not need saving: Mom and Dad are around somewhere, and it is perhaps making it’s first attempts at flight, so leave it be. Even though we had touched it, I do know that it’s a myth that the parents will abandon the chick because of human smell, so we took the baby bird back out and let it go, but not until Elizabeth got a turn at gently holding it and Paul got to stroke the feathers. It hopped right away from us, and pretty soon, the parents were fluttering around protectively. The one important thing that we then did, besides washing our hands, was to bring the cats in – they cause millions of bird deaths a year! Please, keep your cats inside!
Share your thoughts: What are some neat things summer has brought to your nature trail this month?