|A heavily-laden bumblebee comes in for a landing|
|A honey bee with full pollen sacs|
It's good thing bees aren't allergic.
|Just looking at this makes my eyes itch|
|An old pine log left behind after a meal|
The least it could have done was clear the table after its meal and roll the log back off the trail.
The large quantity of ground-based insects this time of year - ants, crickets, grasshoppers, etc. - make it a good time for snakes to be born. I found this new-born garter snake slithering around the wood chips near the house. (Garter snakes are ovoviviparous, meaning they give birth to live offspring rather than laying eggs as most reptiles do.)
The new moon that blotted out just over half of the sun on Monday will, in two weeks, also follow the harvest theme as the September full moon is known as the Harvest Moon.
|The eclipse at maximum blockage. Two sunspots are visible on the left side|
We were fortunate enough to have clear skies during the entire period of the eclipse.
Well, I guess I can't put off the sad news any longer: Tardy is no longer part of the Lake Wicwas community. The first indication came on Wednesday when I heard news of a long period of awful, mourning loon calls, which was described as sounding like a parent who lost a child. Then a careful loon watcher reported that the chick had not been seen for a couple of days, even though there was a pair frequenting the waters where the nesting family had usually been seen. Next came a report of a loon swimming around for 30 minutes with a minnow in its beak, as if searching for a chick to feed - that sure sounded like a animal with parenting hormones in play. So yesterday I went on two searches for the family, and on the second I found the banded female in close proximity to (presumably) its mate, with no chick to be seen.
There have been many eagles seen circling over the loon family, so that is a likely cause of its demise.
|A bald eagle soaring over the loon family - photo by Debby Crowley|
At least mom and dad appear to be fine; mom must have been hungry after all that work raising and defending a chick, as she caught herself a tremendous meal.
Either that or she was consoling herself with the loon-equivalent of a pint of Ben and Jerry's.
She spent a long time catching and releasing this large fish, tiring it out before swallowing it. Here's the whole sequence:
I guess we'll just have to try to enjoy the harvest season without our little Tardy.
|My last picture of Tardy, August 21, 2017|