Monday, July 27, 2009

SUMMER DAYS, and SUMMER NIGHTS


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.

12 comments:

Quiet Paths said...

It is always fun to hear what your outdoor critters are up to. We have had crickets chirping in the raspberries and fern now for many weeks. That began in June. My Mom has bunnies and deer, and Aly saw a tree frog too. Love your view!

Sylvia K said...

I agree with QP, it is always fun to read about the latest antics of your outdoor critters! Being in the middle of the city, we don't see many other than birds and I do enjoy watching them.
Interesting about your weather, our winter was the coldest in 30 years and this summer is the hottest and driest in many years as well. It will be in the 90s for the remainder of the week. I'm looking forward to our camping trip this weekend.
Have a great week, Deborah!

Sylvia

Lin said...

you have quite a community going there with birds, crickets, insects, skunks, raccoons, etc. Never a dull moment?

bobbie said...

You've had lots of interesting visitors. I'll bet they keep you entertained.

fourwindsphotojournal said...

Oh, so that what happened to all the butterflies. I thought they didn't like my new butterfly garden. Your answer makes more sense, for sure.

Today is muggy, a bit more, but so far this summer, we have not had any really hot days.

My brother and sister and I used to make up words, and still use them when we talk. I wonder if all families do that?

We got heavy rain on Friday, and a thunderstorm yesterday, and maybe will get one today. It probably is the same storm you had, but not sure because I didn't look at the weather map this weekend.

Enjoy those crickets!

Ruth said...

I am not getting your feeds for some reason, and just added you to my reader again. Anyway...This weird summer has really affected the insects, particularly the butterflies and pollinating insects. I have seen very, very few butterflies compared to last year at this time. My tomato plants are flowering like crazy, but not setting any fruit. I may have to get a Q tip and do some pollinating myself.

david mcmahon said...

... and to think our winter is just starting to wane (slightly)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Deb, I keep reading about your cool summer up there. We had a cool spell here --but it only lasted about 2-3 weeks. Now it's hot and humid again. That's hard for us since we try not to use AC...

We have skunks around on occasion to. They love to let us know they are around... PEWWWW!!!

Beautiful pictures...
Hugs,
Betsy

SandyCarlson said...

Nature is alive and well where you are. I love it!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great post! Congrats on the Post of the Day mention from authorblog!

Sandi McBride said...

Lovely post...I know you are appreciated by all your "neighbors"...congrats on POTD mention!
Sandi

Kathiesbirds said...

Sounds like a lovley summer day up there. Sure is hot down here. We only have ugly and noisy brown crickets. I hope yours start singing for you soon!