Sunday, 10 May 2015

The ebb and flow of the seasons: tent caterpillars, grosbeaks, trillium

There are the seasons, the changing weather, climate, and there is Climate Change. We can't call it Global Warming, since there are places that are warmer, wetter or dryer, like California.

I've found it interesting to track weather data. My friend, Nancy, has log books from her family which recorded data: ice out, rainfall, etc. My data lets me know how much well water I can use, and if I should refill the goldfish pond! We've had half the rain of May compared to last year.

We missed all of this precipitation, sadly.
Climate – the larger patterns over a region, over a long period of time.
Weather - you can cite regional averages, but 'normal' can fluctuate. They can predict the weather for the weekend, but beyond that, you cannot be sure!

I was checking out the rainfall for last year:
May 2014 we had 166mm. The previous April, 2014, 160 mm rain. Compare this to April , 2015, only 84mm. If April showers bring May flowers, we're a bit short.

Critters depend upon rain, and many need water for reproduction. There are years that the bugs are decimated by a hot season, which affects the birds, others when they thrive.
My stacked wood has attracted many critters.
DRS and a spider. See it?!
Dock spider - they are immense!

The birds at the feeders have been amazing. My foot is healing, and I've been duly resting in on the front porch. I have spotted a couple of new species for me. A Gray Catbird, a flighty thing, only identified by its song, as well as a female Black-headed grosbeak. You can compare the female Rose-breasted grosbeaks with this one, much larger. I'm waiting to see the finery of the male! The white around her eye, the pale beak, and the double wing bars are clues. Her belly is quite pale, with some yellow. You can compare the two grosbeak bellies!

Three female Rose-breasted
female Black-headed grosbeak

Lots of people were out driving in the heat. Many going topless!

We took a backroads drive, on a dusty, dry road. I noticed a lot of the tents. This is going to be a banner  Tent caterpillar year! There were hundreds of thousands of them! They go in 10-year ebbs and flows, I've read.

At one spot, eagle-eyed hubby spotted a turtle. I rescued it, setting it in the direction in which it was going, across the road.
It took the No Trespassing sign to heart!

Such a cutie, Painted turtle

The Trillium are having a banner year. Trillium blankets the forest floor. Bright, white faces shine.
In Westport, swallows and a warbler of some sort! Look up, look waaaay up!
A lot of snappy dressers at The Cove, we had lunch on the patio.  It was good, but we just had pub food, chicken fingers! I did have a salad for dinner...
We like our hats, some of us!
Plus, a muskrat swam by.


eileeninmd said...

We could use some rain here. Our pond is low.. I love all your photos, pretty birds and flowers. Lovely views too. Happy Mothers's Day, have a great day!

Olga Hebert said...

Spring is such a beautiful, tender time of year.

Nancy J said...

looks like a nice warm day, trilliums, I have seen them on Mr Furry Gnome's blog too, stunning in the wild, here they are cultivated and sold from plant nurseries. Spiders, what a size!!

William Kendall said...

A good deed, helping that turtle across the road. I've done so with a snapper once. That took great caution.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
As we are under very low cloud, torrential rain and wild wind.... I shall bathe in your sunshine! YAM xx

Gill - That British Woman said...

I hate those tent caterpillars they are the old house, I used to take the blow torch to them and pray and hope I didn't set the tree/bush on fire!!!

Red said...

You've been busy finding all kinds of critters that appear and become active in the spring. Please tell me that the red convertible is yours? I would think a red convertible would just suit you!!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Spring has definitely sprung! Like the 'topless' shot -- sometimes I think how fun a convertible would be. Then I like down until sanity returns.

Tent caterpillars are awful -- we got them sometimes in Oregon. Maybe it was every ten years, I don't know, I just remember a couple of times when we really had a battle with them. They will eat your landscape up if you don't gt rid of them.