Monday, March 29, 2021

The Toads Were All Gone!!

Last Thursday and Friday I spent long hours at  Pawlings Farm where truly hundreds of American toads were doing their annual mating dance in the vernal  pools.  There were not nearly as many as in years past, but still there were hundreds.  I told my daughter- in- law that she and her daughter Piper should come with me to see this amazing scene.  I met Lynne and Piper in our driveway and then she followed me the 30 minutes or so to Pawlings Farm. I was so excited about getting there. We got to the spot and parked.  The first thing I noticed was there was no sound....  None.   I couldn't hear the trilling of the toads.  We walked through the fields and to the ponds and there was nothing.  Oh maybe a spare one toad, but nothing!  We walked on.  Piper found a turtle, but that was just about the highlight of all the wildlife we saw.  We walked on just at the water's edge.  We found two dead toads, but all the rest were gone.  It's amazing how they come, they do their stuff and they go.  We did after a long while find a nice mating couple and lots and lots of long strings of toad eggs that will soon become thousands of tadpoles.  They will mature into little toads and then hop back into the forest.  Such a marvelous life cycle.  Anyway, we had a great time even without the big crowd.  Here are some fun photos with Lynne and Piper and the wildlife we did find.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Pileated Take-Off - Valley Forge

 There were two of these beauties playing in the woods on Monday.  I tried to get them both in the same frame, but they would not cooperate.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

"Praise the Lord on High"

 The bluebirds are everywhere in Valley Forge.  This one today was so happy.  Can't you just hear him praising the Lord!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Bluebird and the Fly - Spring has Sprung!!

     I had an exceptional Sunday afternoon with a pair of bluebirds in Valley Forge National Park.  When I parked in the parking lot I saw a bluebird fly into the woods.  I hiked into the woods to find him and there he was with the Mrs.  He flew further and further into the woods.  Finally I pulled out my cell phone and played a little bluebird song.  He and she came rushing back to find out who was singing.  It was a long long recording and I just let it go.  The bluebirds at first were very skittish.  But after about a half hour they got used to me and actually kept flying away and then would come back.  The female would fly away, the male, who was very friendly and inquisitive would fly after her but always come back and she would follow.  Here are a few photos:


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Red Tails in Valley Forge and Charlestown Meadows TODAY!

 I only had a little time this morning, but still decided to run out to Valley Forge and see if I could find anything.  I parked in the parking lot and there he was in the tree where he usually is.  I spent about an hour with him.  Nothing spectacular, but always a thrill.  Then I came home and Tom and I went to drop off our taxes.  On the way home coming through Charlestown Meadows, there was our other Red Tailed Hawk sitting at the top of the bog just as pretty as can be.  We drove home.  I ran down to the bog to see if he was still there and he was but flew to another perch just off the lower parking lot.  I ran back, got my camera, threw it into the car and got to the parking lot and then took lots of shots, but nothing great.  He flew off to a far away tree that is beginning to bud.  I got him.  It's greatly cropped but still love his position hiding between the branches.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"Would You Like a Cup of Tea?"

Came across this old favorite in the archives and could not resist.  Spring is on its way.  I can feel it in the air.  Nobody has been around for a few days.  But pretty soon the little guys will be coming out to play.