Seriously, we are far ahead of melt schedule. The frog pond is about 2/3 thawed. Mike Muskrat has turned up, as have a pair of Wood ducks. They tend to land in the open frog pond, and walk across to the safer, larger wetland bog, which is cluttered with dead plants. I just happened to capture that on my video camera!
McGregor Muskrat is back from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
The frog pond is half thawed. A couple of years ago, three muskrats moved in. They built three push-ups and promptly left in spring, since they'd eaten most of the greens. Today, Mikey was back all alone. Daisy watched him as he hid under the dock.
My Wood ducks are notoriously shy, as are most. The first image on the video is one I photographed at Stanley Park. You can see them far back at the pond.
Wood ducks are back from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I saw them fly in, and the nesting boxes are ready! They need open water to land, then video shows them walking from my pond to the wetland. It's thawed, but too crowded with branches for a good landing. Daisy picked up another tick, a huge adult that was easy to spot and remove. That's two this year! TICK COUNTS 2016
I had two mommas lay eggs in the two nesting boxes last year. #1 didn't start until April 27th. #2 nest had 17 eggs, of which 15 hatched! (Wood ducks have flown the coop) (Project NestWatch)
You can see Daisy under the chair, watching McGregor Muskrat. I went back in the afternoon, after I'd recharged me and my saw, and found that the hole was bigger, and he'd been eating the bulrush roots on the platform. Good boy! I've had a lot of invasive plants, European frog-bit, and this will keep the pond open.
Still lots of damage and branches I need to clean up. Look at my poor heron, face first in the pond. I could get on my pants and fix her.
Meanwhile, the 'meadow' is a pond, since the ground isn't totally thawed. I did some more yard work, cleaning up dead branches. (Which is what led me to spot our critters.) Such joy! No bugs, lots of birds atwitter.
You can see the fallen branches I need to clean up. Daisy didn't like the reciprocating saw, and watched from up the hill. I ran out of energy, both me and my saw, and went back at it in the afternoon. Then, I broke the saw blade. After a trip to the store, I'll go back at it. The forest, where I walk, is littered with branches from all of our winter storms.
Back at the house, I grabbed a photo of the scarlet finch.
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