The wild strawberries have covered the lawn with a polka dot carpet of white blooms. Soon the birds will be dropping down to sample the bite
sized delicacies. The strawberries are not the only white flower to have blossomed, painted trillium, white trillium, gold thread, choke cherry, mountain ash, and others have already bloomed. Within a few weeks the woods have transformed, green appears now at all levels. It started gradually with the sprigs of Canada mayflower emerging, then the trillium. Fiddleheads have opened and created an ethereal primal forest floor. Now starflowers and hobblebush are in bloom. Beech leaves and moose maple have opened creating a soft whispering green canopy that is alive with wood warblers, hawks, and other forest birds.
Today while walking the trails I was amazed to see beside me
a huge moose, walking parallel and somewhat unconcerned with my presence, my mouth gaped, and I stopped to watch as it silently slipped into deeper cover
probably not too far out of sight. Last night our guests were entertained with
hummingbirds, a rainbow, and the grand finale, a moose swimming across the pond directly in front of the camps. I am always surprised by how many surprisesthis place can produce, and it is almost beyond belief, but each new treasure that is revealed brings abundant joy and pure tranquility. Moose sightings have also begun in north inlet and at various locations along the road and on the trails.
Tonight the pond is flat calm, etched in purpled pink hues
as the sun dips. My husband stands on the dock slowly fly fishing, the picture
perfect ending to another beautiful day. The garden is planted and we anxiously await the first taste of our produce which we will share throughout the summer with our guests. The chickens are laying eggs and we delight in their rich golden color so bright and cheery and different from the eggs you find in the store.
I am in love with the mountain. Each day it transforms into
some new visage. Tonight the light was reflecting off the cliffs casting a
golden glow against their faces which was matched in deep contrast with the
blue sky and green foliage that has colored in the gray bark on the trees at
the base of the mountain. We have watched the clouds swirl across the top and
down the sides, slow fingers whisking their way down almost to the base, like
icing on a sponge cake that has been freshly baked. Other times this week the
mountain has been a swirl in clouds, with a silent white band floating across
the middle as if standing sentry and gently caressing the sides of the peaceful
mountain. My favorite is watching the rainbow spring up from its base and
stretch across and upward into the sky ending in a pile of clouds and dropping
down again near Lily Bay and Baker mountains on the other side of the pond. The mountain stands silent sentry, a keeper of the north woods, immutable, unalterable, and permanent as it reaches towards the sky beckoning climbers to reach its moss laden summit.
The ruffed grouse have been out sporting full regalia. It is
hard not to walk in the woods and avoid their seemingly ceaseless drumming.
Despite my best attempts I have not yet captured one perched on a log and
displaying, but have caught glimpse as they spread out tail fanned as they
waded back into the woods and deeper cover.
We have otters, and in true anthropomorphic fashion, we have named them, “Ollie” and “Whiskas” they have given us some shows gently rolling through the water, peeping up at us and blowing out of their furry whisker lined mouths. They have to be my favorite pond citizen. They are so unbelievably cute and quite comical with their antics, it is a delight each time we have the opportunity to see them. The eagles have also been fishing the pond and the streams, we have counted at least four, but suspect their maybe six all told across the pond. We delight in watching them glide through the sky, and hover over the pond as they drop in to snatch their prize from the depths of the pond.
Dana has turned into quite a birder. Tonight he ran towards
me, voice in a rather loud whisper “Christy, get your camera, quick.” Not
hesitating and sensing the urgency in his voice, I ran, expecting to see a
moose lumbering through the bottom of the campyard as often happens. But that was not to be, instead he had seen two hummingbirds locked in an inexplicable bond, or as Dana said “doing the wild thing” his eyes a twinkling with delight on his newest natural discovery. Earlier this week he was the first to spot the indigo bunting at our feeder. I watched
for hours in anticipating, went out and scanned the trees and yet did not hear
or see it. The next day, our Indigo pair appeared, amidst a rainbow of finches,
purple and gold, we had our blue bunting gracing our feeder. The swallows have
begun nesting in our houses, and I look forward to see who else is raising
families in the bird houses lining the garden. Last year we watched a pair of
chickadees raise their young and were entertained for hours as we watched them
progress. The birds are too numerous to count, but one fellow birder has
amassed 14 species of warblers in his short stay here, from Blackburnians,
Magnolias, Tennessee, Pine, Parula, Yellow-rumped, and others. Of course I am
not sure which of those now count towards genus dendroica as the ornithological
society has recently thrown me another loop reclassifying my favorite grouping of birds. We have seen and heard black ducks, mergansers, teal, and several wood ducks on our voyages out onto the pond.
All in all, the last few weeks have been busy. The water has
been very high, the wind has been fierce, and we have had several drizzly days,
but still we have tulips sprouting throughout the camp yard, peepers blaring in
a rock star style concert, bellowing out so many decibels of sound one must
almost cover ones ears when standing in the swamp. The American Bittern and
Snipe are here, the meadow hen calling whonk-a-chug, wonk-a-chug in a nightly
chorus against the darkening sky. I have not yet seen a great blue heron but I suspect a glimpse is forthcoming, and I welcome with anticipation the new naturalwonders that mother earth will bring this season.