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Birds, Flowers and Surprise!

April 2nd, 2009

With days of warming sun, flowers and wild life abounding, it’s easy to find spring as a favorite time of the year. Finally we enjoy getting outside more and seeing so much of life around us.  Especially birds and flowers.  I love it when the wild violets emerge- I don’t know the species exactly, but isn’t this one beautiful?

Wild Violet © Fox Haven Media 2009

 

But the birds are so amazing right now, and if you get the chance I hope you’ll stop over and visit Carrie at Great Auk – or Greatest Auk? and read an amazing discourse between two elderly gentlemen about birds.   Elderly is a bit optimistic, considering the discussion at hand, but it’s a really enlightening and humorous effort while hosting the I and the Bird #97 blog carnival.

It’s a fitting day for the carnival anyway as I watched a Great Heron this morning by the pond… perhaps the same heron I snuck up on a couple years ago?  It was poised on the shoreline in quiet contemplation (not!), until I saw it strike quickly and then wolf down a small bass.  I’m a little protective of the fish in the pond, so I wandered down the hillside and the heron flew away.  They can be voracious.  I had to smile though- I hope it enjoyed its breakfast.

There’s so much more going on than just birds and flowers of course.  Yesterday my faithful labrador was huffing and whining quietly on the porch… I wasn’t really listening.  He continued nosing around a plant and then looking up at me until I realized he was trying to tell me something.  I’m a little slow sometimes… but I nearly jumped as I leaned over to see what he was looking at.  Turns out we had a guest, probably overwintered in a pot we brought in- raise your hand if you know what it is!  (And you herpers out there… Shhhh!).

snake

Okay, the answer is… a Red Milk Snake!

13 Responses to “Birds, Flowers and Surprise!”

  1. Beetles In The Bushon 02 Apr 2009 at 5:29 pm

    “Red on black, friend of Jack. Red on yellow, kill a fellow.”

  2. Edelweiss Transplantedon 02 Apr 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Gorgeous violet photo. Thanks!

  3. R. Shermanon 03 Apr 2009 at 8:38 am

    Herons are such beautiful and graceful birds. I guess I’ve never thought of them playing havoc on a stocked farm pond. As for the reptilian tale, I don’t know; I just know from the heads whether they’re vipers or not.

    Cheers.

  4. Sageon 03 Apr 2009 at 9:04 am

    Lovely photos, as always. Looks like your guest is a king snake.

  5. Beauon 03 Apr 2009 at 11:15 am

    Beetles- Ah yes! I usually have to remember that diddy…

    Edelweiss- How do they just magically appear?!

    R.- They are beautiful, and it’s amazing how much they can eat. Good to know about vipers…

    Sage- Not quite on the snake; Looks can be deceiving! :) I’ll post it soon-

  6. pamelaon 03 Apr 2009 at 5:01 pm

    How did he not wake up if he was vacationing in a toasty house?
    Did you have a light mouse population this winter?

  7. Beauon 03 Apr 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Pamela- I think we put a couple pots out in February for a few warm days, and then brought them back in. It must have snuck inside? At least I hope that’s what happened… otherwise we’ve got a hole somewhere! :) No mice inside yet that we’ve seen except in the barn, and one of our cats prowls around the house in and out pretty well.
     
    * And the snake answer is a Red Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila). That little saying about “red and black-friend of Jack” is a great way to remember it. Interesting Sage- I’d never seen a Prairie King Snake before, but it does kind of look like it.

  8. Ed Abbeyon 04 Apr 2009 at 3:38 pm

    When it comes to snakes, I don’t try to remember rhymes to see if they are friendly or not. I just avoid them all together. To quote Indiana Jones, “I hate snakes!”

    I do love blue herons and love to watch them fish.

  9. Beauon 04 Apr 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Ed- Well avoiding is a good idea anyway. How’d you feel about that rattlesnake on the river trip? :)

  10. Ronon 06 Apr 2009 at 4:48 am

    Both terrific photos. I love seeing snakes, they are so fascinating. Especially in cooler weather when they move slower than I do. :)

    Ron

  11. Beauon 08 Apr 2009 at 5:08 am

    Slow snakes- Ha! Good point… I like seeing them too though. It says something positive about the health of the area to me, and diversity of the food chain.

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