recently read or seen – and enjoyed

This is the scene that greeted me when I sat up in bed to take a look out the north-facing window into our garden early this morning. Not a pretty sight! Shortly after, I saw three large “V” formations of Canada geese winging their way southward over the house. They looked rather *determined* — like they were hoping to make good time for points south. The Robins scratching in the leaf mulch in the garden look just a little annoyed by this latest development. The Environment Canada weather report looks pretty gloomy for the next few days. I hope they’re wrong about the snow and rain and overcast skies, but when I checked the longer range forecast, it looks like everyone is calling for about another 8 or 10 days of this mixed bag of weather.

It’s not that there’s much snow – just a scattering really – and it will no doubt turn to rain later today — but the sight of even a little white stuff does become tiresome after awhile. Just yesterday, I was thinking of how things were finally starting to green up a little. The buds on the poplars are beginning to swell. I found two Woolly Bear caterpillars wandering over the grass, and brought one indoors along with some suitable foodstuffs. I also checked the drainage creek for signs of Wood Frog activity, but there was nada. A year ago today, some of you may remember me writing of finding Wood Frog eggs in the creek. Such is not the case this year. So far, the frogs have yet to put in an appearance. It looks as though it will be a late spring, which will definitely present some challenges for the Blogger Bioblitz coming up in a little over a week’s time.

But I’ll keep busy today. I have to scare up some photos of invasive species for a group that has asked if they could use some of my images in a booklet to be distributed to the public. I’ll spend part of the day looking through photo files that will remind me of what’s to come very soon – once the weather decides to be cooperative.

Well, back to the subject of this post. As usual, I’ve read and seen some interesting posts, websites and photos over the past week or two. Here is a small collection that I’d like to share:

* Marcia Bonta has written a most fascinating piece on Opossums. I particularly enjoyed reading about research into the reproduction and also the intelligence of these little creatures. And while we’re on the topic of Opossums, check out this post on Cindy Mead’s WoodSong which features a wonderful photo of a female with her young.

* Aydin Orstan from Snail’s Tales has been blogging while traveling in Florida. He has photographed some very interesting creatures. Read about them here and here.

* Here’s something very special. Mon@rch at Mon@rch’s Nature Blog posted a terrific photo essay on the migration of Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). Don’t miss it!

* I hadn’t been over to Thingfish’s Taming of the Band-Aid blog for awhile, but when I visited, I was soon reminded of the incredibly beautiful caterpillars such as this and this, and also beautiful moths.

* This morning, I came across a stunning photo on Jimmy’s Details of Nature blog. Jimmy is a super nature photographer who captures many unique images. His “Photo of the Day” for today is a Nursery Web spider with its young spiderlings. I don’t think this image will stay at its current location permanently, but here’s a link that should take it to you. See the large female in silhouette below.

* Pamela at Thomasburg Walks has just posted about Tweed Green-Up, a new environmental group in her municipality. It was great to read that one of their initiatives has been to successfully raise funding for reusable shopping bags, such as those now used in the village of Perth, that I wrote about a few months ago. Tweed Green-Up has it’s own new blog, and after quickly perusing through its first few posts, I can see that the group has got a lot of good stuff on the go. By the way, here are a few interesting factoids from one of their blog posts on recycling of cans and bottles:

Every tonne of cans recycled saves 3.6 barrels of oil. Every single aluminum can recycled saves enough energy to power an average television for 108 minutes. Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours!

Doesn’t that make you wish that *everyone* recycled all cans and bottles — and used reusable shpping bags!

That’s all for today.

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10 Responses to “recently read or seen – and enjoyed”

  1. Carolyn Hoffman Says:

    Actually, your photo is a beautiful sight–though perhaps not what you want to see in mid-April. What weird weather this year! Winter didn’t start until mid-January and now spring is also among the missing.

    Carolyn H.

  2. mon@rch Says:

    Thanks for linking to my site and the Salamanders were so fun to find! Thanks again and I can’t wait to visit your other post!

  3. Peter Says:

    I spent yesterday at Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct. Hiking to the beach through mud, slush and 3 foot snow drifts. I’m ready for some summer weather too.

  4. robin andrea Says:

    Your photo reminded me so much of our yard in January, it almost made me nostalgic. Almost!

    I’m looking forward to checking out those links. You always come up with such great stuff.

  5. Pamela Says:

    Hi Bev:

    Thanks for the links!

    We got about 10 centimetres or more of snow today before it stopped–the rain never materialized. I’m not sure of the actual amount that fell because the temperature hovered just above the freezing point all day, so this is beyond wet snow–turns to water as soon as you step in it. Spring in Ontario….

  6. burning silo Says:

    Carolyn – Yes, both winter and spring seem to be off-kilter. I’m wondering what summer will bring?!

    mon@arch – I really like the Ambystoma maculatum salamanders. It must have been amazing to be there to watch them that evening!

    Peter – I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Nova Scotia weather. Sounds like it’s been totally zonky there.

    robin – It’s funny — that’s the same thing I thought when I reduced the size and placed it at the head of this post… I was thinking, “Hmm… this looks like the DB’s yard after that snowfall!” I hope you enjoy the links. I believe it’s a collection that should appeal to just about everyone who reads this blog.

    Pamela – Glad to provide the links. I really like the sound of the Tweed Green-up group. It sounds like you must have a happening bunch of people there. Since I posted this in the morning, the snow switched over to a steady but fairly light rain. The puddles in the barnyard grew a lot today!

  7. Cathy Says:

    Bev – I’ve only done the Opossum link so far and it was, as you say – a great read. I saw opossum tracks in the light dusting of snow a few nights ago and so I’m tossing over-ripe apples and stale bread along the fence line. Probably foolish to tamper with nature, but I’m weak. I’ll never forget the encounter in the backyard, years ago – snow falling gently as I looked up into a white pine just a foot or so from my face and found myself eye to eye with a sweet little possum – it’s pink toes delicately grasping the evergreen. I just stood there with the snow sifting down around the two of us. It brings tears to my eyes – just remembering.

  8. John Says:

    Bev, hold on…the REAL Spring will be her shortly and you will be beside yourself with happiness at the eruption of nature around you!

  9. burning silo Says:

    Cathy – I hope you enjoy reading this collection of links – there have been some super posts here and there recently. I loved hearing about your encounter with the Opossum. It was almost like being there!

    John – Oh, I’ll definitely “hang in” for awhile yet. Spring has to be right around the corner. Actually, the snow is all gone again and it feels balmy and springlike… the woods look misty and the air is filled with the songs of so many birds. I’ll put my tall rubber boots on and go for a walk to the creed to check for Wood Frogs in a little while. There was no activity yesterday, but I’m guessing the frogs will make an appearance today.

  10. Jeremy Bruno Says:

    It will definitely be interesting, Bev. We just had about six inches of snow down here. Perhaps next year we’ll shoot for a June bioblitz.

    It’s good to get the bugs out early, so to speak.