I'll start with this picture to tease you. What are these? Confections? Pink bugs? Painted fairies? or what? Stay tuned and I will clue you in at the bottom of the page.

It was a short "summer" up here. It was so cold in recent days I was back to wearing a winter hat for outings! Plus the wind and rain have been factors. If you feel for the amphibians, you would be happy to have more rain. I found jellied clumps of salamander eggs left high and dry. This is the hazard of laying eggs in temporary vernal pools. They may dry up before the transition to adults takes place. Most animals seem to prefer wet weather, though warmth would be a welcome factor. The frogs and tadpoles are laying low, and the egg masses are again floating.

Jacks in their Pulpits are preaching silent sermons these days. They emerged almost over night to join the Starflowers and Canada Mayflowers who might "listen" for words of wisdom (just kidding!). The Bunchberry and White Baneberry are also blooming along with False Solomon's Seal. Incidentally, some of those preachers may be Jacquelines! The one in the picture with the maroon lines is female, but if disturbed may revert back to masculinity. Plants.......they teach us lots of lessons in gender.

All is not so happy on the roadways. I stopped on my way out from Bath on High Street to check a recent roadkill. I carefully picked it up for closer examination. Here is what I found; can you identify it? What puzzled me was the red fur. Though the picture shows the underside, the back was quite red with white fur intermixed. The rodent teeth, and black feet throw it into the Groundhog category. You can even count the five fingers on the hind paws and four paw pads. This was a young animal and small compared to my wet shoe! What do I do with these animals? I placed it in a lobster trap in the woods where eventually I will have the skeletal remains, though I fear the skull may be fractured. But how often do you get to see these rodents up close?

As for those pink things on the page above.........these are all over my driveway, blown down from large Horse Chestnut flower clusters. These attract a variety of insects and Hummingbirds, and once fertilized, make huge seeds that squirrels love. I am constantly finding where those nuts have been buried and send up those palmate shaped leaves. In this picture you see one such flower cluster with a few blossoms remaining. There is even the start of a seed on the upper left side. Notice the beautiful leaves. In the background is that hill where I spotted the fox and fully leafed out trees behind. The lawn slopes down to a marsh along the Kennebic River.

6/5/07 Puzzling, but not preaching, Ronnie