Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tree Climbing Water Snakes?

As we were canoeing around the pond today, Mary noticed what looked like a snake in a downed cedar tree along the north shoreline. A closer look revealed not one, but three water snakes sunning themselves. 

There are three snakes in the photo. Two snakes are coiled up together in the lower right. One more single snake can be seen in the top left. The cedar had fallen into the water giving the snakes easy access to the sunny perch.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nesting Eastern Phoebe

One of the wonderful - and unanticipated - features of a log home is lots of nooks and crannies for nesting birds. Rare is the year that we do not have a robin's nest tucked into a cross section of log beam somewhere. This year brought a first - a nesting eastern phoebe - located immediately outside of our front door. 

One of the very recognizable habits of this "flycatcher" is that when it leaves the nest (which is anytime we open the door) it flies to a nearby low hanging branch in the woods, where it perches and furiously bobs its tail. 

It should take two weeks for the eggs to hatch, and then the birds will typically lay a second clutch of eggs - Double Clutching?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's Blue Gill Mating Season!

 It is the first week of June, which on Bullet Pond means two things: 
You can safely (hopefully!) plant your tomatoes.
The blue gills are spawning. 

The smaller female is on the right (and being a tease.)

We have three active blue gill nests - called redds - around the dock this morning. We also have one nesting small mouth bass. The water temps climbed to 70F in this week's hot weather, which prompts all of the activity. The females will lay their eggs and move off to deeper water. 

The larger males will stay on the nest and will protect the eggs from predators. In these pictures you can see the male fish is more than twice the size of the female.