Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31, 2016

2016 has been a great year for blueberries in the Lakes Region.  The hot sunny weather really helped and they haven't seemed to suffer from the lack of rain - especially those along the shoreline where their roots can siphon water straight from the lake.  It's not over quite yet, but if you haven't had your fresh lake-fed blueberry pancakes yet, you need to do it soon!
Still lots of berries as of Saturday

One fruit season that is over is the cherries.  Remember the abundant crop of black cherry growing back on July 17th?
July 17

This is all that was left just four days later!
Just bare stems on July 21

One season I don't mind seeing come to an end is deer fly season.  There are still a few around, but they are waning.  And the dry weather seems to have reduced the mosquito and tic population as well;  it's a welcome early-start to the bug-free hiking season.  We'll see what some rain does to the insect population this coming week.

Deer flies are really nasty critters, just waiting in a sunny spot in the trail, hovering, like a drone in reconnaissance mode, ready to ambush whatever comes along, whether deer or human.
Deer fly loitering for its next target

They even look evil.
This could have been the inspiration for Darth Vader

In contrast, here is a much nicer hovercraft frequently seen around New Hampshire:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

We took a trip to up the coast of Maine this week where we saw many osprey, which made me note that they haven't been around Lake Wicwas much this summer. 
Osprey at Wiscasset, Maine

I have heard them on occasion so I know they are here, but I haven't seen any yet.  Last winter one of their favorite fishing trees - right on an island point with water all around - toppled over.
Their favorite fishing tree is gone

I used to have great views of them sitting on this tree, scouting for fish in the lake.
Wicwas Osprey on its prior favorite look-out

If you have seen where they are hanging out now that this perch is gone, please let know where they are!

To close out this hot summer month of July (hottest on record, I've heard) how about a fiery summer sunset?

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