Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 21, 2010

Lake Wicwas was pretty busy today, with lots of boats out enjoying the good weather.  There were quite a few bass boats fishing this morning, and a large fleet of kayaks poking around the islands.  Plus several boats were out at various times, water skiing, tubing, and wake boarding, including a sharp new SeaDoo that has been visiting the lake quite a bit this summer.

In the evening there was a group of five loons swimming and diving together.  The single bird seemed again to be keeping a little extra distance from the others, and when it approached, one of the others appeared to confront it, and it veered off again.

After a long time of quietly swimming around while fishing, the whole group started swimming in formation, rapidly down the cove, calling wildly, with the single loon bringing up the rear.  It went on for two or three minutes before they calmed back down.  I took some video just to capture their calls;  I'll up-load it if I can find a way to load a 10MB file.

It has been so hot and dry that the streams have almost completely dried up.  There is a little water trickling from the beaver dam on the Blue Trail in the Hamlin area, but even the main stream under the bridge at the trail head has no water flowing, just some standing water in some of the deeper pools.  This smaller stream has been dry so long that pine needles are collecting in it.

The oak trees have started to drop their acorns, with green acorns all around now, much to the delight of the squirrels and chipmunks.  You can find lots of cut open shells lying around under the oaks, with the nut meat cleanly removed and eaten.  Strips like this are left by squirrels, where chipmunks and mice tend to chew a large hole into the shell, leaving it more intact.  Soon the turkeys will be back to eat the acorns too.

It's clear the fox are also enjoying the plentiful bounty of the harvest season.  Their scat consists entirely of seeds and other plant material now, with none of the hair and fur that it contains in the winter seasons.

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