Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm finally up and running

Well it took me longer than I thought but here it new blog.

I am backdating all the entries to when I wrote them. Back here in the States my nature watching has some similarities to being in Iraq. Its mostly opportunistic, half an hour here and there. As Major Ed in Iraq commented to me, the situation is very similar to the Doctor in the movie Master and Commander. So close to so many wonders but duty calls.

A short walk in my woods netted me the first deer tick of the season (I found it crawling on my kitchen table after I came inside). Some of our friends who have a Daschund have been finding loads of them since February. The dog is a regular tick vacuum cleaner.

We are on the cusp of spring. The Eastern Phoebe was hanging out in the trees near my deck, the Honeysuckle, Barberry and Russian Olives have tiny green leaves peeking out and I've seen lots of insects in the last few warm days. The Witch Hazel continues to flower in my back woods. I some some small tortricid moths flying around the flowers yesterday evening. The Dark-eyed Juncos are still hanging around the feeder but they'll soon be moving to higher ground to nest.

At work in Farmington I saw a Twice Stabbed Ladybug (Chilocorus stigma) resting in the sunshine on the side of a Red Maple. At home my son caught a Lampyrid beetle (Firefly family) I think it is one of the flashless fireflies possibly the genus Lucidota. I usually see many of these little beetles in the early spring congregated on the trunks of trees. If you pick them up they emit milky white liquid in little drops. I've tasted it and me no like, obviously chemical warfare against predators.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Frozen Frogcubes Awake!

I have been saving my observations from the last month on my laptop mostly because I couldn't think of a name for my new blog. I'll backpost tomorrow after the kids go to bed. I had to go to Martha's Vineyard and down to Maryland on Business so of course I got in a little birding.

Spring has arrived in Central Connecticut. The weather yesterday was above 60 and it was only a little cooler today. This afternoon I heard the first Wood Frogs tentatively singing their quacking call in the small swamp behind the American Red Cross parking lot in Farmington. The Spring Peepers will be joining them in a few days creating a wonderful racket like a thousand tiny sleighbells. Their ability to freeze and thaw throughout the winter always amazes me. In the trees male Red-winged Blackbirds were singing their Conga-Ree song and flocks of Common Grackles made their rusty hinge call.

The Aspen Trees near the Connecticut River had their catkins out in full force were I crossed the Rt. 3 bridge going towards Rt. 2.

I love this time of year because each day something new is waking up. I should be hearing my first phoebe and Pine Warbler any time now.