Musings

Sun did come out

SeneysBootHill

We haven’t stopped at Seney’s Boot Hill in years, so we did today. It was buffed up perhaps fifteen years ago, but nothing since, so it’s entering another genteel decline. Strange plastic items survive better than most of the wood.

Frilly shroom

We went on to the refuge, and it’s mushroom season…mushrooms and swans. And the usual marsh critters and plants.

Jr n parent swan

Parent trumpeter swan in front of perhaps three-quarter grown swan/cygnet—when do the youths become swans?

Perhaps giant aphids

I’m speculating: giant aphids?

Nibbled gill shroom

Not sure what nibbled this mushroom down to the gills—I know turtles like them….

Resting turtle

Speaking of turtles…painted turtle?

Oregano pollen

Bumble oregano

The August heat has created huge bloom spikes on our oregano, enjoyed this afternoon by a busy bumblebee.

Sounds (something) like a poem!

Watch “Chasing Coral”

HanaumaBay

“Chasing Coral” is the best documentary you will see in years. On Netflix now. Do it. I’ll wait.

Coral is a living animal creature. The whole thing is one creature. The small polyps and mouths are body parts of a living creature, not separate creatures.

This is Hanauma Bay. We went snorkeling there and saw lots of dead coral. When it’s only bleached, it is still alive—barely; it is white because the flesh that covers the white skeleton has died and broken away from the skeleton, but the inside portion is hanging on. If the coral becomes florescent, it is making one last chemical stand at staying alive. If it is covered in wispy algal strands it is dead dead. We saw plenty of the latter, one magnificent (in a bad way) bright purple coral, and many damaged corals, broken by careless tourists. I am trying to be upbeat….

Coral reefs are dying because the oceans are warming past their capacity to cope with the temperature change. Most of the warming of our atmosphere from burning fossil fuels…that heat “goes into” the ocean, and so elsewhere is being buffered by the temperature rises in the ocean waters.

Surfboard chips

Stab at upbeat. The shapes look like stone spear points to me, as well as surfboard outlines.

Early night

Pleasure to have the sun drop behind the ridge and the temperatures begin to drop.

Think about temperature change now. And check your calendar for a time window to watch “Chasing Coral.” Then watch it.

End of preaching. Thank you for your patience.

Searching for wildlife

Joe pye weed

We went on the wildlife walk, and, as I expected, we saw far more plants than critters. Joe-pye weed.

Jpw variant maybe

Did not look very hard in the wildflower ID book for this one…variant joe-pye weed.

Lilies

Fragrant water lilies and yellow pond lily.

Mystery blooms

Didn’t ID this; didn’t browse for long.

Mullein

Mullien.

Turkle

Then we took the wildlife drive. We still saw many more plants, but they were farther away. And the bugs were so desperate to find us the were slamming into the windows. I was glad we were inside. Painted? turtle. We saw the usual complement of mid-summer loons, swans, Canada geese, seagulls, and a few ducks. No grebes; no coots. No mammals.

Gotta go apply anti-itch cream to the bug bites I got on the wildlife walk.

Raucous

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes.

I awakened about 4:30am and could hear a soft pitter-patter of rain mostly disguised by the fan. Still, I descended and closed what windows were open on the porch, or closed them enough that if the rain picked up a bit it wouldn’t come in.

By perhaps 8am, the sun was out and I thought geeze it’s going to be hot and humid! Then, shortly overcast set in until about 12:30pm, followed by the day’s full allotment of sun sun sun. The basil is happier with the rainfall.

Wisely, as it turns out, I took my walk during the overcast. I got over the hill and I was striding along and all of a sudden I could hear this bunch making a ruckus. It wasn’t until I got past the fencerow vegetation to the field access opening that I could see this bunch. There are two/three young ones to the left of the adults.

Skippers everywhere (exaggeration)

Milkweed skippers

I found a milkweed just beginning to bloom, a plant in the vanguard of the blooming, and covered up with skippers.

Vetch skippers

I found this vetch with plenty of skipper-attention.

Basil skipper

Something aka some critters/insects have been eating my basil. This skipper is the only visitor I’ve spotted; however, I don’t think of skippers as basil-eaters. Mystery….

Swamp watch

Tar-gravel fixing of holes in the perpetually patched blacktop through the swamp. It’s a bumpy ride.

New vocab: frass

Morning light rug

Loving the low-angle morning light. And this rug. It’s seen better days, but we both like the color, so it stays (for now).

Flowers table

Stunning flower arrangement for the table…all from the garden and field. Great party followed!

Frass maker

Bumper crop of tent caterpillars this year. Friends are picking them off by the five-gallon bucket full. Yikes! I have heard of scat 💩; turns out that the same sort of output by insects is frass. I knew you wanted to know that.

Sedentary moments

Gulls n geese

We ate lunch with the breeze getting too friendly, and the gulls thinking about it, but fortunately keeping sufficient distance that we did not have to actively fend them off.

Freighter upbound

Then we shifted locales and sat beach-side and watched for freighters, also noting a pair of mergansers that came by three times that I counted. This freighter is upbound, meaning headed into Lake Superior. BTW, that land past it is a foreign country populated by many very nice people.

Sunset by beach

We stayed by the beach until the wind kicked up and the sun’s strength diminished. Later, as the rays approached horizontal, they eventually lit the forest floor. Sweet!

Did I say we told stories and laughed and had a grand time? We sure did.

More wild

Foggy morn spiderweb

Overnight rain led to a wet, overcast, drippy morning. With a delicate spiderweb undulating in the intermittent breeze.

Caspian tern maybe

We decided to head over to the refuge, and while en route the sun emerged, so that by the time we were on the wildlife drive, it was full out and even almost warm. Guessing these are Caspian terns.

Shiny log turtles

Such shiny carapaces these turtles have!

Swan back

And, of course trumpeter swans. Not nesting yet that we noticed. Only a few Canada geese; far more swans.

Wild Day

Porcupine

Why did the porcupine cross the road? ☀️

Sandhill crane pair

Pair of sandhills. Note he and she are looking opposite directions; it must be a gender thing.

Morels bicolor

Around here the morels are one of two colors: blond or brunette. Sautéed in butter, both are exceptional.

Our wildlife sighting today included a pair of deer—no photo.

☀️ My guess: to escape flooding…geeze, the water is high!