New Life

fawn-1

At least one of the does that hang around the house has had a fawn. We’ve watched her with it a couple of times, in the tall grass and sedge that ring the beaver pond. Only one, though, but it’s still early. No sign of any bucks.

And it is an active beaver pond again. A pair of beavers moved in a few days ago and are doing renovations on the old house. This should make for much more interesting wildlife viewing over the rest of the summer and into the fall, as it seems when beavers are active in the pond a lot more wildlife uses it. I suspect it’s partly that they keep the water levels up (provided there is at least some rain), and partly because of their feeding habits, which impacts on both the terrestrial and aquatic vegetation, which seems to be a positive. Since beavers also warn of strangers, maybe that’s something the other creatures also appreciate. Within days of the beavers showing up, there’s been a hen hooded merganser on the pond constantly (is she not nesting?) and a drake ring-neck showed up this morning.

Entomologists are forecasting an outbreak of forest tent caterpillars this year, which is supposedly good for cuckoos, and true to form, Lil heard one calling this morning. Three coos, so that makes it a black-billed cuckoo. We haven’t seen or heard either one in a number of years.

It went from winter to summer in less than a month and while things were hot for a couple of weeks, the last two days have been cool. Yesterday and again today dawn greeted us with a temperature of only plus 3 C. That’s cool, and actually inhibits plant growth (growing degree days are plus 4 or more). The hot weather brought out morels and fiddleheads, but they grew so quickly there were only a couple of days of picking, and for the most part I missed out. Maybe a few more morels will sprout with the cooler weather.

Of note, the white-nose syndrome affecting bats hasn’t killed them all, at least not in this neck of the woods. We have a bat house up on the wall of the original log house built on the property, and once again it is inhabited. I’ll have to try and get a count one evening.

So summer is here and a lot is happening.

Update: Bad News. A bear killed the fawn this afternoon (June 9). Very sad.

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