Culprit confirmed, and other miscellany


DSCN5771A week of silence in the woods had me hurt and confused – where had my Up-All-Night-Screamers gone?  Well, for the past few nights I am delighted to say that husband’s sleep is once again being punctuated by the sound of at least two owls swooping around in our mini-forest.  Hooray owls!  So glad to hear you back.  I’m not sleeping anyway, so I’m game for the company.  (And because my schooling as an attorney has taught me to check and recheck my facts before reaching a conclusion, the photo above was taken tonight after prowling around in the woods with my camera, listening and watching and finally standing underneath the tree where this juvenile made a few of the screaching noises I hear all night long.)

These are pictures of a patch of milfoil growing near my waterfront.  (Hooray for resale value!)   I have learned from the lovely folks at Cobbossee Watershed District that this patch of milfoil is native milfoil – not variable-leaf milfoil, which is the bad stuff that many volunteers are hunting for.  Still, to ride over this expanse of weeds is to involuntarily gasp, “Oh my….oh….my…..”  It is impressive and horrifying.  Check your boat before it floats people!DSCN5752This weekend we had about a dozen seagulls passing the time of day at the lake.  Apparently they’ve grown tired of the beach already.  The crowds can be a bit much.


I’ve previously noted that dragonflies and hummingbirds make me nervous because I don’t like being darted at.  (Pretty sure that is horrible sentence construction but I’m sticking with it.)  So you know I was sorely lacking in something else to point my camera at when I started trying to get a good shot of this black beauty.  And honestly, I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen one dragonfly eating the head of another.  There, I’ve said it.  The truth hurts, and life in the weeds is brutish and short.  Never thought I’d hear myself say, “Get off!  You aren’t using my foot to eat his head.”  Right.  Dragonflies resting on my pretty little toes.  To eat a small snack of Other-Guy’s-Head.


First time I’ve seen four great blue herons fly overhead together.  Not a great shot but I took it anyway.


Still learning to shoot the moon.


Tickled pink that flowers are growing near the house.


Will never, apparently, tire of my “pet” pig.  His perpetual grin is the real charm.

Too close for comfort


Two nights ago my husband said coyotes woke him out of a sound sleep sometime before dawn.  A conversation later in the day with our neighbor confirmed that at about 3:30 am on Memorial Day the field on the opposite side of our private road had at least several coyotes in it.  And last night hubby’s sleep was somewhat interrupted by “my owl friend.”  By this he means the owl (surely there is more than one, no?) that I was hoping to photograph several nights ago on a sunset paddle along our waterfront.  We are both terribly light sleepers, in truth, and we wouldn’t trade our slice of heaven for anything, rowdy owls notwithstanding.  (Okay, maybe we would trade it for something, but let’s not quibble over my use of hyperbole.)

Last night  I watched while a rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) landed on what appeared to be an osprey’s head.  (I was counting on my camera to tell me the truth once I uploaded photos at home.)  There was a slight breeze on the lake and so my kayak was bobbing just enough in the waves to make shooting hard.  I quickly paddled backwards into a small grove of trees to anchor myself and spent about 90 seconds watching this small bird drama unfold.

The osprey was a good sport about this small indignity, although I believe her expression post-blackbird gives us a sense of how she really felt.  (Thanks to  Bernd Heinrich – nature writer and scientist – for making it okay to anthropomorphize.  I can’t spell it or pronounce it but I know what it means, thanks chiefly to Bernd’s honest and tireless defense of attributing human behavior and emotions to other animals).  And even better was the confused expression on the face of the juvenile osprey.