Friday, July 1, 2011

June 27, 2011

This marks the one year anniversary of the Lake Wicwas Blog - the first entry was on June 27, 2010.  During these twelve months Lake Wicwas has experienced another year of wonder and beauty, with events such as the birth of four new fawns (July 24, 2010), visits from bald eagles (October 24, 2010), and ermine (November 11, 2010), in addition to the usual loon, fox, otter, merganser, pileated woodpecker, and on and on.  We had fabulous ice skating right after ice-in on December 10, a great snow fall, and a late ice-out on April 22.  There was minor flooding in the fall (October 30), and temperatures over the year ranged from -13.4 degrees on January 24, to 98.4 degrees on July 6.  How many regions on earth can claim a temperature variation of greater than 110 degrees?

This week was a time for low, slithering creatures.  I probably would have walked right by this garter snake if didn't have its head lying on bright green moss - the rest of its body is very well camouflaged.  It is pretty long, as it tail extends all the way to the left of the picture.  It remained still as I approached, though it was checking me out with its tongue.

Garter Snake

Snakes smell by sticking out their tongue, which captures molucules in the air, then brings them in and places it tongue against its olfactory nerves on the roof of its mouth.


I also found a couple of red-backed salamanders hiding under some rocks,  and another painted turtle was laying eggs right in our driveway.
Eastern Red-backed Salamander
Painted Turtle

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