Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15, 2016

Our loons appear to be settling in and getting ready to nest;  I have seen them several times around the lake fishing quietly together and checking out potential nesting sites.
What do you think of this cute island, dear?

They are well behind the loons on Pleasant Lake which have already laid their eggs.  But they (on Pleasant Lake) have a distinct advantage:  they get to move into a pre-fabbed floating nest site, all set for them in a protected location and ready to go.  Our pair has to do it the old fashioned way.  They have to scout out a good  site, private and secluded, safe from predators, protected from waves, and on terra firma at a point that won't get flooded if the lake rises, yet is still close enough to plunge into the water at an instant's notice.  It is not an easy task.

They might also have to fend off competing loons.  As recently as this past Tuesday there were interluders still trespassing on our pair's territory.
Intruders are still disturbing the peace

Most every night there are loud, distressed calls echoing over the lake.  Hopefully they will soon be left alone so they can select a site and begin their four-week period of tending to their eggs.

Other signs of life are springing forth all around the lake, including the evolving color of the hills as the trees push out their pale green new leaves.
The color green is reasserting itself

The Shadbush are blooming all around the lakes and mountains this week.
Shadbush, also known as Serviceberry

I knew Shadbush has an alternate name of Serviceberry, but I only recently learned the source of this name.  When someone passed away in winter in the days before machinery, they were placed in a receiving vault until the ground thawed enough for a grave to be dug.  In New England, the earth thaws out just about the time the Shadbush bloom, so these trees were nature's adornment at the services for those that passed away in the winter.  Thus, Serviceberry.

I much enjoy watching spring unfurl its beauty in the least expected places, such as a pile of dead oak and beech leaves.
Bright colors push through the remnants of 2015 (coltsfoot)
Purple Trillium
Spring literally unfurling

I will end this entry with Friday's sunset and a quote from Henry David Thoreau. 

     It is an agreeable change to cross a lake, 
     after you have been shut up in the woods, 
     not only on account of the greater expanse of water, 
     but also of sky.
                                        -    Thoreau

With the arrival of spring I hope you soon will be crossing a lake which you find agreeable.

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