Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Another Gift From the Weather Gods!

 Yet one more sunlit blue-sky day of pleasant shirt-sleeve warmth!  That long, cold, ice-bound winter is quickly fading from memory, as the sand grows soft and warm beneath my feet, and a gentle breeze may lift my hair without causing me to shudder from the cold. Today could not have been lovelier for an easy walk along the eastern shore of Moreau Lake.

One reason I prefer  to walk this side of the lake is that the shore here is wide and shallow and sandy.  Not only can I stride along without the impediment of sucking mud or intruding thickets, I also can see through the crystal-clear water to the multicolored pebbles strewn along the bottom.  And today, the water's ripples were catching the sunlight to cast bright shimmering ribbons of gold on the sand beneath.  What a flashing, dancing display of light, as if the water itself were celebrating its long-awaited release from its prison of ice!

When I reached the north end of the lake I slipped through the woods to visit Moreau's back bay, a quiet rest-stop for many migrating waterfowl.  There were ducks today, Buffleheads, I believe, although they were too far away for me to discern, even through binoculars.  What I could see clearly, though, was this mother Canada Goose preparing her nest atop a beaver's lodge.  I wonder if this is the very same goose who made  her nest here last year.

On my way home, I stopped again at Orra Phelps Nature Preserve to revisit the Snow Trillium growing there.  And I wan't the only visitor, was I?  Each flower was very, very busy with bees that ranged in size from tiny to almost microscopic.  How wonderful for these early pollinators to find such abundant pollen so early in spring!

Another early pollinator was wafting through the woods, a flash of bright orange that would then turn dead-leaf brown when this Eastern Comma Butterfly would land on a leaf or a branch.  I once read somewhere that these "angel-wing" butterflies get that name for their habit of completely disappearing into thin air when they close their wings, they are so well camouflaged.  Yes, I would have to agree.

I had also read that they are quite friendly, as butterflies go, and so I ventured a finger forward, and -- sure enough! -- the creature allowed me to lift it up for a closer look.  Oh look, we can clearly see the white "comma" that gives this early spring butterfly its name.

It's hard to believe that those dull brown wings could open up to display such vivid color as this.


Pam said...

Never heard of snow trillium, I was just trying to figure out yesterday when we might reasonable expect trillium to show up here in Wisconsin. Probably not for another month.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the first bumble bee yesterday I thought, oh no, what are you going to eat? Snow trillium! - I really must plant some native early ephemerals in my garden.