The beautiful spring weather continues, though we did have a touch of frost one night. Now it is May and wildflowers are celebrating. I drove into Totman Cove Preserve very slowly in order to absorb the flowers along the way. There are patches of Fawn Lily everywhere and white Anemones require a closer look. It is just amazing how things have emerged and now producing floral components. I parked and went down to the beach where one clammer was digging for his livelihood. I picked my way out as the water from North Creek was still flowing out to sea. Later, as the tide changes, the salty water will flow in to bring cover to the hungry clams. Those mollusks need water to filter out their food. It was fun looking for holes and disturbances in the moist sand. My first find was a small Moon Snail that had dug to hide from the gulls who, like me, were checking out holes! I saw another mound of disturbed sand and dug to expose a Green Crab loaded with orange eggs! She tried to fight me off with her pinchers. I took a few pictures with other interesting sea life, then covered her with her precious cargo. I dug several Surf Clams and managed to pull out one Razor Clam. I found Hermit Crabs which have been scarce all through the winter.
Later, I hiked into the campground, primarily to see if there were toad eggs where I had seen them previously in the Lily Pond. I found their strings of eggs on the east side but alarmingly, many appeared ready to dry up. The eggs were laid in shallow water and the pond has reduced its size in recent dry days. I tried to scoop them into deeper water, which wasn't an easy task. I looked for eggs where I had netted the Toads on Sunday, but found none. Of course, that is a large pond and I didn't check all areas. I'm getting very protective of toads after their spending time with me.
I was delighted to see several Painted Lady Butterflies taking flight. These are small insects that are quite tolerant of cold. Some overwinter as adults in northern regions. Some also migrate to warmer places. The underside of their wings are dramatically different than the colorful topsides. I've raised these from caterpillar and seen their pupa and their dramatic changes.
So, with flowers, crab eggs and butterflies, I am flying high with thoughts of spring! 5/3/09 Ronnie