Friday, May 13, 2005

May in Connecticut

Its been a bit difficult finding time to post, but I have been out and about.

This morning in Farmington I watched a Red-shouldered Hawk being harrassed by an American Crow as it circled above our parking lot at work. On Monday the hawk was sitting quietly in a small tree right outside our building for several hours. A couple of Mockingbirds were scolding it.

Last Sunday three of my children and I took a walk in the woods behind our house and made our way up onto the ridge overlooking our neighborhood. Many of the spring flowers are out including Dwarf Ginseng, Canada Lily and Wood Anemone. The maidenhair ferns are just coming up in a little patch near Dickinson Creek, which runs along the border of our property.

My goal in getting up on the ridge was to look for a Raven nest. For the past month I have seen a pair of Ravens in our area and I suspected that they are nesting at the top of a cliff on the ridge. We made it up with quite a bit of protest from the kids. Sure enough the Ravens were up there and circled us. I didn't find the nest but their activity was very suspicious.

On the way back home we found an old White-tailed Deer carcass. The Carrion beetles were finishing off the remaining flesh. The kids wanted me to bring the entire skull, spine and ribcage home. I ended up pulling off the skull and putting it in our woods to let the beetles finish their job. The carrion beetle larvae look a bit like wood lice with segmented armor.

Two pileated woodpeckers have taken up residence in our back woods and we've had some great views of them as they work a dead tree and fly back and forth in the woods flashing their black and white wings.

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