Two suburbanite boomers throw caution to the wind, postpone retirement, and move to a farm in Indiana. There they intend to live happily ever after.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Nature Notes: It's a Zoo Out There
There's so much going on in my yard this week that it's going to be hard to fit it all in.
A smallish snapping turtle wandered through. They don't usually leave the water, so it was either a male looking for territory or a female looking for a nesting place. I love to see them walk; their gait is like an alligator's, with the belly lifted completely off the ground. You don't want to get anywhere within striking distance of those jaws, so closeups are a bit risky. (See what I'll do for you guys?)
The only baby birds I've seen yet are cowbirds. Two of the little buggers, both being fed by chipping sparrows. We have fewer cowbirds hanging around than we used to, because I've moved their favorite seed into a caged feeder they cannot access and the woodchucks are doing a fine job of cleaning up any spilled seed.
The garden is up and growing, and we've added fruit this year. We've planted apple, cherry, and peach trees plus blueberry bushes and grapes.
The veggies include corn, tomatoes, snow peas, lettuces, peppers, canteloupe, cucumbers, and beans.
There are two kinds of beans, a hybrid and an heirloom. The hybrids hit the ground running, but the heirlooms have been slower to germinate, slower growing, and prone to insect attacks. Which, I suppose, is why people started creating hybrids in the first place.
Updates on previous posts:
1. The Neighbor. My husband approached him about the mowing on our side, and he apologized for getting carried away with his new tractor. It's too late for this year's milkweed, but it's a relief that it won't be an issue going forward. However, a huge backhoe has appeared over there, to be used to build an earth mound in the woods to stop the bullets on the firing range. I've decided to accept the things I cannot change, and to adapt to the changes as they come. Happiness is, after all, a choice.
2. The Salamanders. They're a little bigger, but they don't look any different yet. However, I did spot five toes on the back feet of one, so I'm pretty sure they are going to be spotted salamanders like this one:
3. The Woodchucks. Oh man, the woodchucks. They've gotten visibly bigger in just a week, and are starting to dig dens of their own, most recently under the potting shed. The hubby spent hours Saturday installing a heavy metal grate to stop them. The garden is heavily fenced, but the gate is a weak spot. I'm sure they can squeeze under if they try, so that's the next project.
We've elected not to trap and relocate, because we have no place to release them that won't cause trouble for the chucks or for other people. But if they get into the garden I can't guarantee their continued safety.