Monday, May 02, 2011
Spring bird migration is gaining intensity right now. This weekend I spent a morning watching several black-throated blue warblers bounce around. I was out working on the chicken pen yesterday morning when the warblers joined me. It's kind of fun to be able to see them without binoculars and without developing "warbler neck" or "birder's neck" from looking nearly straight up for long periods of time trying to see thems. The birds were quiet close and didn't seem to mind me moving around doing chores. These lovely little blue warblers may be my favorite warbler, though chesnut-sided warblers are pretty high on my list, too.
A pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks came to my father's feeders. Grosbeaks usually don't breed quite this far south, but it's also unusual, I think, for the birds to be paired off their nesting territory. The birds breed in New York state and even upstate Pennsylvania, so perhaps these will stay around.
A robin is nesting in the crook of a low tree just behind the cabin. When she is in her nest, she sinks down into it and is almost invisible. The nest is close enough for photos, but I haven't seen much that is too exciting yet. For now, it's enough to know where the nest is so I can keep an eye on it.
Today's photo is a redbud tree. A few of the tree's heart-shaped leaves are shown in the left. This year has been a decent, if not a spectacular, spring for this tree. I have several behind the cabin and several that line the lane up to the cabin. One of the prettiest of the trees along the lane fell over sometime last fall, so the edge of the lane isn't quite as dense with them as before.
This year the dogwood blooms aren't all that great. It's hard to know if that's because of the fungus that's damaging and killing the trees or if this is just that kind of year. The extent of both dogwood and redbud color is variable from year to year. April was the wettest on record, and May isn't starting off much better, so finding a cause for this year's lack is complicated.
The tornado news here on the mountain is winding down. I suspect it will take Roundtop at least a week to clear up the downed trees. I don' t know how long it will take to fix the transmission towers, but work seems to be progressing well there, too. I'm so grateful that the damage wasn't any worse than it was. No one was injured here and damage to buildings was minimal, considering how much worse it could have been.