Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Whistling Swans

In the pastel colors of the first light this morning I saw a pair of straighter necked whistling swans (Olor columbianus) who stopped over on Michigan's Lake Huron on their way to breeding grounds further north. They can be distinguished from the more domesticated trumpeter swans found in parks with their more graceful "S" shaped necks. The large trumpeter swans found on the west coast of North America are threatened and perhaps in danger of extinction. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Even though the male is doing his "knocking" on this tree; I don't believe this pair of flickers (Colaptes auratus) will nest in my north woods. The male is near the top of this dead top, the female - in the last two photos - is below him. Males have black "whiskers" otherwise they are virtually identical to females.

The 'regression' (diminution, melting) of our mini-icebergs over the past few days -

Yesterday, although close to freezing, was warm enough to actually work outside for half a day; thanks to a lack of wind, it was actually almost warm. I avoid working outside in the summer because the heat gets to me and I need to avoid the sun because of skin/cancer issues. Spring and fall are my active seasons. I spruce up the garden in the spring and then let it go on its merry way during the summer. In autumn when it gets cool again, I tidy things up a bit. I like to leave some dead vegetation for winter visual interest, for cover, and for food for animals but also because I'm lazy myself and both winter and summer are times to rest from gardening and enjoy the changes as the seasons progress. Seriously, maybe I'm rationalizing but I would not want to live in a climate where I had to tend my garden year round - too tiresome.

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