Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 2009

As usual in the Park, the month of August has given us an unparalleled beautiful sky. The sunsets have been extraordinary and earlier in the month the full moon loomed over.

The young swallows from in the house also made their d├ębut into the real world earlier this month. One by one with the urging of all flock members, each of the four babies spread their wings and took flight. They stayed near the house with the rest of the flock for just under a week before finally departing south for the year.

We have also observed another juvenile white-naped crane that has came into view with its parents…

Other signs of late summer are also evident. Many of the birds are molting, replacing their feathers and looking rather shabby in the process.

Nature has also continues with its nice bounty. In the wetlands and along the terrace, you can find wild onions and hazelnuts in addition to the continual berry harvest.

The bounty is at its height in our own personal garden as well. We have gotten a glut of zucchini, tomatoes, peas, potatoes and carrots. In addition, the fruit trees on the property are producing some of the tastiest pears and plums around. Mmmmmm.

The insects are still omnipresent – and any trip in the wetlands will cause you to itch and scratch for several hours afterwards. But in one such trip out into the wetlands, I found someone that is truly appreciative of all of these biting insects. I think that this individual may be considered quite rich within its species:

A new group of insects have emerged during this month – caterpillars. Many different and beautiful types have been spotted on the surrounding vegetation. Several types have very interesting survival strategies…One that I have observed had long hairs that projected from its body in a fashion that gave it an appearance of a spider. If it is started. It will raise its body in an ominous fashion – similar to a menacing spider. Another had false antennae on its rear to confuse predators as to which end is its head..

On the lake the ducks, gulls, and terns are beginning to aggregate. The photo below was taken of three gulls feeding on the lake. A good look at this photo reveals some unusual bodily positions of the birds in flight – one even has its head cocked around!

Lastly, a sad site at the lake was found. One of the baby Great crested grebe chicks was found dead. The cause of death appears to be the chicks attempt to swallow too large of a fish…

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