Monday, May 02, 2011

Clean-up after Thursday's tornado continues at Roundtop. Two large electrical transmission towers that cut through the forest were twisted like tin foil, and crews have worked on them 24/7 throughout the weekend.  Giant crane trucks and long trucks carrying new metal pieces continue to clog the narrow road atop the mountain.  The trucks are staging in the parking lots at Roundtop until they are needed.  I can hear the trucks, occasionally, from the cabin.  Sometimes the sound is different enough or loud enough to make the dogs bark, which is a lot worse than the sound of the trucks. 

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.


Cathy said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the rose-breasted grosbeaks again. Bt not this week, it's going be a cloudy and rainy week for the most part

Grizz………… said...

The redbuds here aren't all that great this year, either…nor were the dogwoods. But God knows the grass and greenery are going like gangbusters!

Haven't been able to get out and really do much warbler looking, but I agree that black-throated blue warblers are one of the best of the lot. And though I had that female rose-breasted grosbeak here recently, and saw it the following day as well, it has apparently moved on.

It's raining today. It rained yesterday, and Sunday, and is supposed to rain tomorrow. Thursday might be sunny. But Friday calls for rain. We, too, had the wettest April on record…and as you say, May isn't starting out much better.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: Rose-breasted grosbeaks are one of those spectacular birds. They are spectacular pigs too. Once they cue in on a feeder, it will empty out fast!

Griz: The dogwood is better here today, but the redbud is already fading. And the grass! It looks as though the grass has been Photoshopped, it's that bright.

And, of course, more rain today. Temperate rainforest, here I come!