MAY IS MAGNIFICENT!
Things are happening so fast that it is hard to keep up. I did get out to check on the toad eggs and observed that in a week, tadpoles are formed and were swimming! I did worry since we haven't had much rain, and where puddles have been used for egg laying the metamorphosis may be stopped. It is raining as I write, so I'm sure the tadpoles are benefiting. It will be interesting to watch the development of legs and an ultimate return to life away from the water.
I had another animal encounter, thanks to some gardening. It is a fact that I often find interesting animals when I garden. This time, I was trimming back the long dead stalks of Iris when I uncovered something coiled up and immobile. It's a small snake, I thought, and I ran for my camera. The day was damp and cool, so no doubt the snake was hunkered down awaiting warmer weather. It barely moved as I took some pictures, and later captured it to make sure I knew its identity. It believe it to be a Brown Snake, a less common reptile than we normally find.
The woodland flowers continue to show their "faces" once the sun beams into their habitats. At Totman Cove, there are carpets of Fawn Lilies and Wood Anemones (seen here to the left), two favorites of mine. If you look carefully, you can find emerging foliage of Clintonia, though it is still in bud. It's fun to distinguish the whorl of leaflets in Starflower from those of Indian Cucumber Root. The latter, will have a "second story" whorl of fewer leaves that surround its pendulent flower. Incidentally, the root of that plant does taste like cucumber!
I found some flowering shrubs on the Sprague Pond trails. Hobblebush (seen to the right), in the Viburnum family, has a striking floral display. Along the shoreline of the pond, I found Leatherleaf in bloom with branches dangling a string of small flowers along arching stems.
Salamanders had laid eggs in ditches in the trail. Speaking of salamanders, my brother was cleaning up his yard in Small Point and uncovered a Yellow Spotted Salamander! He brought it over for me to see, which made me very happy. After picture taking, I returned it to the place where it was found so it could continue its furtive life style. So that was my week, filled up with snakes, flowers, tadpoles and a salamander! It doesn't get much better! 5/10/11 Ronnie with May in my blood!