Success! I finally caught the beaver in the act of swimming in the Lily Pond, and chewing some vegetation! The water was calm, and this swimmer was cruising the waters, quite content to be observed without resorting to the tail splash of being disturbed. We only saw one, but the lodge has grown in proportion to house a family of these rodents. The water level remains unusually high due to heavy rains. Iris Downs is a pond, and I noticed two loads of fill have been dumped to try and alleviate the wet conditions that have been all too common this season. The road leading to Sanddune beach was impassable due to standing water.

The home page shows some of the beautiful waves we've had in the last few days. These were long, curling rollers that must have come from a storm at sea. It was such fun just waiting and watching while the surf crested and pounded as if orchestrated. Our weather continues on the mild side, and lots of hikers have been out enjoying the excitement of shoreline activity. Here is a picture of one of those long, curled waves that caught my eye.

Here is something else that caught my eye......a dragonfly on 11/11/06! It was sunning itself on the ramp leading into my barn. I've seen these often flying about my fields and gardens, but this seems quite late to see them on the wing. I've been intrigued by these insects that seem to extend the season. We must remember that these are insect eaters and not dependent upon floral nectar. But there aren't too many insects for these to dine upon. I haven't seen a mosquito in weeks! Quiet down, I hear you all cheering. Yes, there is a season when there are no mosquitoes biting in Maine, though some may think that is hard to believe. The Dragonfly you see here is a Yellow-legged Meadowhawk. Unfortunately, the leg color is not apparent. In fact I understand the adult males do not have yellow legs. This is a beauty, however, and is believed to migrate in cold northern areas. A more common migrator is the Green Darner, a larger dragonfly with beautiful colors. Most dragonflies overwinter as nymphs, however.

I wanted to share this Pitch Pine cone and its winged seeds. I brought this cone in from the cold with its scales tightly closed. In the warmth of the house, in time, the scales opened and released these seeds, each equipped with a wing to sail and germinate away from the parent plant. Rodents know the secret of these cones, and have learned to chew for a seed dinner. Currently, we see the result of this activity with de-scaled cones littering the woodland. Those seeds seem like a tiny source of nourishment, but squirrels are diligent in their search for food at this time of year. Most animals are similarly preoccupied with seeking food sources before the cold weather makes such activity burdensome. Come to think of it, these cones are quite beautiful creations...all for the production of seeds.
11/11/06 Ronnie, a beaver sighter, finally.