BEAUTY IN SPRINGTIME.....
The Ladyslippers are on center stage these days. We took a walk on the Center Pond Trails and lost count of all the Pink variety. This white novelty was found and is unusual in its color (or lack of). Ironically, this picture was taken a few years ago, but remembering its location, we were able to find it and enjoy again its beauty. These orchids are most beautiful as we head into June. The ephemeral spring flowers are now fading from view. There are no signs of Fawn Lilies, so numerous as spring started to unfold. Anemone foliage can be found, but those too will be gone until another year passes. The tree foliage is now providing much shade in the woods. That doesn't seem to bother the Starflower and Bunchberry that continue to offer up their blooms. In the fields, Buttercups and Yellow Hawkweed have taken over where the Dandelions left off. It is such fun to follow the sequence. I hope to find the Jack in the Pulpits and watch their rather magical unfolding.

Several shrubs are providing eye catching delights, and here is one. sometimes you find this shrub blooming in patches quite low to the ground, but it does reach sizable heights if the conditions are right. I just love the way the tips of the stamens stand out against the white petals. This is a plant called Chokeberry. We also have Chokecherry shrubs in bloom, but their flowers flow down in racemes. Chokecherry leaves are favorites of chewing caterpillars, so I am often hunting down those larvae on its foliage.

The animal excitement this week was provided by Tree Frogs. We heard them on our walk on the Center Pond Trails, but I happened upon one quite by accident in West Point. I went over to our shoreline property to water some of the new plantings. We have a barrel to catch the rain water spilling off the roof in gutters. As I lifted a bucket to fill with the rain water, I noticed a frog sitting on the top edge of the barrel! I dropped everything to catch the magical moment. These Gray Tree Frogs are very hard to find. They blend in with the bark of trees, and though you may hear them singing, they are hard to locate. This is the second time I have come upon these interesting animals, quite unexpectedly. Here is a picture of the frog showing its toes with the round sticky pads that enable it to climb trees. Their skin is quite bumpy, and may change color to match their surroundings. That explains their scientific name, Hyla versicolor.

My female Cecropia moth has finished her role in life and succumbed. I'm hoping her eggs will hatch, and that I can watch the developing caterpillars. One other interesting animal has been reported, but not seen as yet by this observer. Apparently, whales have been seen off shore, and even heard as they expend air! I've alerted campers, and continue to keep an eye out for these huge marine mammals. Mosquitoes are now present, but only bothersome in certain areas.

Well, it is time to get the rest of my garden planted while the sun is shining. We are due some rain later this week, which to be honest, is needed. 6/7/09 Ronnie on the go.