A RARE ENCOUNTER!
How many of you have seen this animal on our shores here in Maine? This is only the second time I have seen it, and you can imagine my excitement! I was visiting a friend who has a home on the Kennebec. As we were enjoying the views and her lovely garden, there was animal action near the entrance to her house! I caught a glimpse and knew at once it was a Weasel! I ran to get my camera while she kept an eye on the animal who had caught a Chipmunk and was maneuvering to take it into its den in the rock wall. Here you see my lucky shot of this small mammal, without the Chipmunk. The last time I saw this animal, it was near the Lily Pond at the campground. As I walked by, the weasel popped out and dropped a vole it had caught. These are affective hunters, as these two encounters verify. I hope sometime you get a chance to see these animals, only about 1 foot long. In winter, their fur turns white much like the Snowshoe Hares.
I managed to get out on the trails and shoreline today and encountered other animals as the season changes. It is quite hot up here, and people were even sunbathing and walking barefoot on the beaches. A Glossy Ibis greeted me as I drove down behind Head Beach. Clammers were taking advantage of the low tide and digging to their heart's content. The toads are still singing, and over in the Lily Pond I found a couple of the strings of eggs with tadpoles wiggling in the jelly! Toad tadpoles are black, and they were active. We have not had any rain in almost two weeks. The campground is drying and the pond is shrinking! I hope those tadpoles swim to deeper water before their habitat dries up. How many days has it been since I saw the freshly laid eggs?
Other animals that caught my attention includes a pair of Catbirds. There are still no mosquitoes to speak of, and no Black flies. Ticks, however, are a big concern and I am picking them up every time I walk through the grass and shrubs along the shore. We do need to wear light colored pants and check frequently for those pests.
As for spring flowers, the stars of the current show are Wood Anemones and Strawberries. Bluets are also providing color. Among the shrubs, Highbush Blueberry and Gooseberries are now flowering! Here is a sampling: The white anemones often surprise me when I find them growing close to the shoreline. You may also see the foliage of Fawn Lily in the picture which is now blooming profusely. The Bluets you see below often carpet sunny, grassy areas.
It is still too early for Ladyslippers, but Starflowers and Canada Mayflowers are sending up green shoots to announce the coming of its flowers. I'm still finding Coltsfoot in bloom, but Dandelions are now giving them yellow competition.
What is blooming in your neck of the woods? This time of year, so much is happening that you need to get out regularly so as not to miss the excitement. Who knows? You might even catch a Weasel with a Chipmunk in its mouth!
5/13/07 Ronnie, feeling summery. Happy Mother's Day!