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Toad Love and Other Thoughts

April 22nd, 2007

Another day to spend outside… it was warm!  Since I’ve been cutting logs and chipping branches, I have walked the property many times.  Today I was greeted by the site of two American Toads (Bufo americanus americanus) completing beginning their spring mating rituals.  In the evening we can hear the musical trill of the toads around the pond and woodlands.

Two American Toads (Bufo americanus americanus) © Fox Haven Media 2007

One of the strangest things I’ve seen is this vine growing out of a Redbud tree.  The tree’s branch broke during the winter ice storm and I have been cutting it up.  But this vine isn’t a friendly sort… it’s a poison ivy vine!  I’ve been trying to control the poison ivy and I never realized a vine could grow inside another tree!  Obviously the tree just grew around it… crazy!

Poision Ivy vine growing out of tree

The “old man” cutting trees on the dam. 

Cutting wood on the dam

But the dam looks great with the grass growing on it… a little more brush cutting this year and it will be in good shape.

Grassy dam improved by cutting brush and trees

For all the extra brush and branches, we use a pto-driven chipper- it really helps clean up the “little stuff”.  Today was spent chipping most of the remaining branches around the property, and this afternoon I even had help from Mom and the ‘youngun!

The wood chipper really helps clean up brush piles

One of my favorite signs of Spring… the Mayapple’s rise out of the ground with their umbrella-like leaves. They usually have a single white flower that becomes a small “fruit”.

Mayapple

Wood Sorrel, or Oxalis, is a common flower in Spring also-  and the reddish “clover” leaves are attractive.  These are even edible, and give a tangy, sour taste.

oxalis.jpg

A long day, but a lot accomplished.  I keep hoping the trees will “bloom” a little faster with their leaves.  The top of the Oak trees are still brownish from the late freeze… we would have lots of shade by now, but it still looks like winter with most of the trees trying to regrow their buds.  Slowly but surely.  Oh- and yes, I’m the “old man”…

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