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Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
 
 
Sunday, May 11, 2003
 

Lately, I've been seeing two whitetail does in the general vicinity of the house. The larger groups of deer broke up quite a while ago. I think the does I'm seeing now are a mother and her yearling daughter.

When the older doe is ready to have her fawn(s), she will no longer tolerate the presence of any other deer - not even her daughter.

 
 
Saturday, May 10, 2003
 

BluetsThe bluets are blooming. This wildflower can be found in fields, meadows, and open woods.

The oak trees, beech trees, and red maples are leafing out. The leaves from last fall remained on the young

beech trees until a few days after
the new leaves began to open.
 
 
Friday, May 9, 2003
 
A wood thrush sang a beautiful song yesterday evening just outside my back door. Ah, spring!

There were lots of warblers singing early this morning. The wild turkeys were also gobbling. And the chipmunks were adding their "chuck, chuck, chuck..." to the symphony.
 
 
Thursday, May 8, 2003
 
Monarch ButterflyThe monarch butterflies are just beginning to reach southern New England.

Here's an interesting article that covers the monarch's life cycle, migration, and conservation issues.
 
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
 
I've been watching a pair of hairy woodpeckers excavating a nest hole in a black cherry tree near the house. It's the same cavity that I've seen both a hairy woodpecker and downy woodpecker investigating previously. Guess it was the hairy woodpecker's hole.

I now hear a continuous pecking from the black cherry tree in the mornings as the nest cavity is enlarged. I also hear pecking on and off during the day. I've twice seen the female resting in the hole with just her head and beak visible.

A couple of days ago, I saw the female preening and then foraging on a maple tree near the cherry tree. After a while, a chipmunk gave an alarm call. Immediately, the female flew to the nest cavity.
 
 
Tuesday, May 6, 2003
 

Red TrilliumThe red trilliums are blooming, along with the early saxifrage. The red trillium (Trillium erectum) is also known as the wake-robin, birthroot, or purple trillium.

Many species of ferns, including the maidenhair fern, are unfurling their fronds.
 

Monday, May 5, 2003
 
This morning I saw two male pileated woodpeckers having a territorial encounter.

Both woodpeckers were on different sides of the same tree. They were waving their bills from side to side in an aggressive manner. I could hear rhythmic clicking sounds as the woodpeckers' bills met - first on one side of the tree and then on the other.

After a while, they would move to a new section of the tree and repeat the same behavior. I watched for about ten minutes and then saw them both fly away.
 
 
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