Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 2010

There are signs that we are getting into the latter part of summer around Lake Wicwas, starting with the sun rising noticeably farther to the south.

This morning on an early walk, I found myself annoying lots of creatures.  First was the red squirrel, who was angrily chattering at me, and running from branch to branch, trying to drive me from his feeding grounds.  A few minutes later I surprised a deer that went bounding through the woods to escape.  And that was followed directly by a beaver in the marsh that heard the commotion, and started slapping his tail in the water with a loud ker-splash.  I couldn't see the beaver, but I could see the splashes it made!

Splash from a Beaver Alert
Blueberry season is also nearing the end.  There are still both low-bush and high-bush berries around, but they are getting sparse and over-ripe.  Even the huckleberries, which have a later season, are getting past their peak.  Do be careful to make sure you don't take home any stow-aways!
Daring Jumping Spider

Another sign of late summer are fall webworm caterpillars. Supposedly they don't hurt the trees they defoliate because they do their damage late in the season.

And talking about spiders, here's a guy who was taking advantage of the web made by the caterpillars to find his breakfast.

The mushrooms are also popping up everywhere.  This fresh one has been nibbled by the chipmunks or squirrels.

And this old, moldy fungus is a feeding station for a herd of newts - I counted six dining on either the fungus itself or the tiny insects that were attracted to it.

It was rather windy today, especially in the afternoon, with gusts up to 30 knots.  A couple of hapless paddlers became stranded on one of the islands where they had stopped to explore.  They didn't pull their boats up far enough on shore, and a gust of wind swept them both out to sea.  When they returned to their landing site they were gone, with no idea where they went.  Fortunately the good samaritans on Lake Wicwas were helping them out, and I'm sure they found their kayaks and made it safely on their way.

At sunset, the wind had died down considerably, and the light was casting long shadows, and illuminating the trunks of the tress on a west-facing hill overlooking the lake.

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