Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I hear a symphony...

"Whenever you're near...I hear a symphony..."  Diana Ross said it first, but I have been saying it all week.  The Eastern Towhees, so elusive in early spring, are now everywhere.  I just can't say enough about their bombastic "CHA-WHEET" and "DRINK YOUR TEA!"s.

Have a listen.

It's hard to actually catch a Towhee outright, because they like to hang out in bushes and brush.  However, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful female recently.  She's brown headed, but has that distinctive orange and white coloration on her abdomen:  

Most of the time I see males, and mostly in the shade.  Their red eyes are so beautiful in the sunlight, but they move so fast through the underbrush, they're hard to photograph.  Usually I just get a glimpse, like this one. 

They are singing their hearts out now, and so many others are, too, including one mystery bird who runs through a dizzying scale of notes, over and over.  I have my binoculars handy and hope to catch him soon. 

The music continues at night with the frogs and toads.  I was working in the garden recently and saw this tiny Cope's Tree Frog.

Theirs is the predominant song we hear at night:  Cope's Tree Frog

But there's also this guy, who I found in a front flower bed, burrowed in the dirt among the weeds.

He's an American Toad, and also much heard:  American Toad

I would never, never disturb a nesting creature, even if it meant forgoing my only sun bed and leaving a protective patch of weeds in its center.  However, toads lay their eggs in water, so I knew he was just having a rest.  I weeded around him...

...and then built a protective cover of leaves.  I went back the next day and was happy to see that he stayed around:

I also saw a juvenile version in the brush:

!!Creature love!! 

There are so many others.  I caught a glimpse of a raccoon just outside my office window yesterday, climbing a tree.

 Up, up, up...

He watched me from his high perch until I went back inside...

...then climbed back down and ambled off into the woods. 

A White-Tailed Deer (that nuisance!) has been here, as if I didn't already know from my sadly chewed hydrangeas:

 More creatures down by the pond.  So many fish, from the numerous schools of "normal"-sized ones...

...to our monstrous three-footers.

So many turtles, too.  We just look for the "sparkle" on the water and inevitably, it's a turtle's head popped up.  

Now that summer is unofficially here, we can sit by the water and watch the scene unfold in front of us.

There's still more yard work...

...but we're enjoying the things that happen automatically, without any help from us, like the blooming of the irises. 

So beautiful!  It's no wonder that my baking and craft work has taken a back seat to nature lately, although I may try to squeeze in an extra blog post soon so that I won't fall so far behind on projects.

I hope you're enjoying the beautiful weather and lovely creatures somewhere, too.  Have a great week!

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