Monday, July 21, 2014

July 20, 2014

Our loon family continues to do well, and loon watchers around the lake are sending great pictures of the new chick and parents.  These beautiful pictures were taken by D.C. off Loon Point.

There are still many other loons on the lake, including the group of five I saw last week.
I'm guessing it's the same group because I saw the bird with a band on its leg, and this time I was able to get a good look at the colors on the band:  it has one green band and a second with red and white stripes.

I have passed this information onto the loon authorities and asked for any information they have on this particular bird - I will share what I learn from them.

Maybe all the visiting loons on the lake are grandparents, aunts and uncles who have come to meet the new member of the family!

I came across another new family on the lake this week:

The loons and the geese are rather visible on the water when they have new chicks, but ducks seem to be much more shy;  this is the first time I have a seen a duck family on the lake.  And when the mother duck noticed me on the shore, she swam well away to be a decoy, while the ducklings stayed in close formation, scooting off in a different direction. 

I checked the progress of the Black Cherry (see May 13, 26 and June 8 posts for earlier status).  The fruit is turning a vibrant red-orange color now and will be ripening soon.
Black Cherry

Closer to the ground, the Indian Pipe have joined the many other fungi emerging from the rich forest soil.

Indian Pipe
Blueberry season is also upon on - blueberry scones were on on the menu this morning for breakfast!

I identified a new bug this week as well (sorry RP!) and this one is a "true bug".
Assassin Bug (Zelus luridus)

It is an Assassin Bug (a member of the large genus Reduvius), aptly named, as it has a rather gruesome method of capturing its prey.  It injects a poisonous saliva into its prey through its long, thin rostrum (folded underneat its head in this picture).

This contains enzymes which liquify the insides of its prey, and the bugs sucks the contents out for its meal.  Yummy.  Fortunately, they appear to be harmless to humans.

Last week we took a hike up Rattlesnake Mountain, just north of Squam Lake.   If you've never done this hike you should try it - it's a short (1.8 miles round trip), easy hike up a well maintained bridle path, with one of the best best view-to-effort ratios you'll ever get!

Squam Lake from West Rattlesnake Mountain
It was a good hike with great friends!

(A delayed post this week due to technical difficulties at the internet provider.)

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