I'm coping out a bit. This time of year is 'May Madness' (I know for sports fans the saying is 'March Madness' but for nature-lovers, it's May). Birds are everywhere doing all kinds of interesting things. Wildflower are blooming.
I was having a hard time deciding what to write about because there are so many possibilities. Then Dr. Ruby came to my rescue. She said, "Why don't you just share what we saw on our walk this morning?" Okay, Ruby, good idea!
First of all... everything was very green! It's so beautiful, even on an overcast day like today. And Ruby says, "All photos look better with a basset in them!"
The honeysuckle bushes are blooming along our path. This is one of the spots we hear a Chestnut-sided Warbler singing, "Pleased, pleased, pleased to meet you!"
While Ruby sniffs, I listen. We're right by the edge of the big woods now, where we can hear an Ovenbird singing, "Teacher, teacher, teacher."
As we start back down the hill, I see something that Ruby doesn't. Do you?
I've been keeping an eye out for fawns, which are usually born in our area around Memorial Day. But on closer inspection, there won't be a fawn near this White-tail, as it's a buck.
Ruby didn't see him at all, but that's okay. (At her height, I'm not sure she could have).
Ruby's height is perfect she says, "Look, I can fit right under this Mayapple!"
Very nice, Ruby!
Ruby likes to check out what I call our "Warbler Woods". This week, I've seen a Magnolia Warbler and a Northern Parula in this area... besides the resident Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, and Black-throated Green Warbler.
This photo of a Magnolia Warbler is from a few days ago, but Ruby said it was okay to put it in.
Ajuga (also called Bugle or Bugleweed) was blooming. Even though it's an alien, it is pretty.
I think it's kind of sad that the dandelions are already in the seed stage... although I do love both their cheerful flowers and the puffy seed heads.
Now we're back almost to where we began. Ruby finds something to sniff (as usual) while I listen to a Bobolink. I think it would be almost impossible to come up with a saying to describe the sound they make. The Cornell website describes it as a "metallic, bubbly, rambling song with a mixture of sharp high notes and buzzy low pitches". You can listen here.
As we get back to the yard, I see a bird in one of our crab-apple trees (a different one than I wrote about in this post). With Ruby on the leash, sometimes it's difficult to get a good photo, but I zoomed in and snapped a few anyway to see if I could tell what it was.
I was glad I did, because it turned out to be the Yellow-billed Cuckoo that I've been hearing. (They have a really neat song, which you can listen to here.) It's not a great photo, but even with a leaf in front of its face, you can see the yellow bill.
Ruby and I continued on. She makes me laugh sometimes, just by being Ruby. How did she get the leash under her ear? (Well, she tells me that with ears that long, it happens sometimes!)
Now, it's time to go in the house and get warmed up... it's been a damp and chilly 45 degrees while we walked. Just one more shot of Ruby with the garden in the background. It's all planted and I hope the temperature will warm up soon so the seeds will sprout and not rot. Meanwhile, I'm sure the Tree Swallows nesting in the box on the corner post would like it to warm up again, too.
If you look closely, you can see a Tree Swallow standing guard-- he's on the fence, right in between the two closest posts, on the top of the wire. Ruby doesn't notice... she's ready for her treat at the end of our walk. Thanks for joining us!
PS - Ruby said I should add photos of the other birds I mentioned. So here they are:
Chestnut-sided Warbler and a link to listen to it.
Ovenbird and a link to listen to it.
Bobolink (link is above to listen)