It was really windy the last couple of days. The big Lake Erie waves were hitting the breakwall rocks and splashing up over into the back yard. In one low spot where water collects on the pavement, grackles had a pool party, while nearby, a solitary killdeer landed, and stood watching the goings-on, doing that little hiccup thing they do.
A couple of red-winged black birds have become pretty adept at getting seeds from the niger feeders in the lilac bush. They figured out they can sit on branches and peck the seed ports, rather than try and squeeze their bulk onto the small finch-sized perches. But in the big wind, everything was rocking and rolling around, so they would try to nip some lunch as the tubes of seed swung by them. They were very persistent, and it was hilarious to see them duck and bob around like kids playing a party game.
A few days ago in the garage, I spotted two little crickets. They were bigger than the tiny one I had in my bathroom a while back, so that means they are all growing. I said to them, “When are you guys going to start singing?” The nights are still very quiet around here.
Other recent visitors (besides the mallard regulars) include a skunk, unseen but unmistakably present, who hung around for two days and then, mercifully, moved on, following the shoreline. Two raccoon kits came one day at dusk and field stripped my mixed-seed feeder. The cats and I sat in the screened porch and watched them, silhouetted against the dusk. When it got too dark for me to see, I went to watch some TV, and left the cats, with their superior night vision, to stay ’til the end of the live raccoon show.
Some old friends who still haven’t put in an appearance: northern water snake, green frog, opossum, the fireflies, and several species of butterflies and moths. This has been an unusually cool summer for this area, following on the heels of a colder winter than usual. The fishfly population took a huge hit, as did the spiders (that one I’m happy about!) so it remains to be seen what other insect species might be down in numbers. Summer moves on; I’m looking forward to August.
Photos: (top, click to enlarge) from the breakwall looking toward Point Pelee National Park (bottom) Part of Point Pelee Drive, showing the shore road with the fields behind it. My house is further to the west/left of this picture.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.