Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road?

Second letter to the editor:

This time of year while you are out driving you may come upon one of our native species of turtle crossing a road. You might wonder why it would be doing something so dangerous. Turtles are looking for mates and laying eggs. They instinctively seek out high, dry, sunny locations to lay their eggs, sometimes needing to cross a road to find the ideal location. If you can safely stop your car, and wait to let the turtle pass in front of you, or can help move it to the other side of the road in the direction it was traveling, you are doing a wonderful service to help it survive. .Unfortunately most of our native turtles are in serious decline due to loss of habitat loss and people capturing and keeping them as pets. It is illegal in NY State for any citizen, except those that have special permits to possess any species of our native turtles. Three species are listed as Special Concern and one is Endangered and on the Federal Endangered Species list. Moving Box turtles and Wood Turtles from where they were born also causes most of them to die soon after releasing them to a new location. They have home territories and have learned over a lifetime the best places to find food, water and shelter, when moved they often starve to death. Releasing non native, pet turtles, like Red Eared Sliders is also causing problems for our native turtles, because they are much more aggressive and larger then our Eastern Painted Turtles and compete with them for food and territory. Thanks for helping our turtles survive so that our grandchildren might get to see them in the wild.


Went for a wonderful hike today with hubby,Petey, my son and his girlfriend. After the last couple of super busy days getting ready for a graduation and party, a little escape into nature was much needed. We went up to Cascade Lake Park at about noon. The woods were filled with bird song,its the first day that it hasn't rained in the last three weeks. Glorious sunshine, although a bit humid. As we were heading to the car after a couple of hours in the woods, we were treated to an awesome sighting of two very young fawns right near the parking lot, both were making cute little noises calling to each other. You can see why people some times think that they need to be rescued, they look so fragile and mom seems no where to be found. I'm sure she was watching us from a distance.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice!

The last few weeks have been spent working on our yard. After 20 years in our home the front gardens are finally finished. During the last year we put in a new circular driveway, stone walls, walkways and new gardens. I planted around 100 plants and flowers for butterfly, hummingbird gardens. I also put in a tiny pond for tadpoles, and it ended up with baby goldfish hatching, so it's making for a very cozy fish nursery. Now the large pond in the backyard has been completely refurbished, it is now about 6 inches deeper and sports a large waterfalls, and has a filtration system. You can visibly see the fish smile, they are so happy with the new conditions!! A two tier stone patio is next on the work list. Our oldest son has been doing quite a bit of the work. He will be traveling a lot this Summer and couldn't find a job that allowed that much time off, so we are paying him to work here. It is a win win situation, nothing like a fit 22 year old to get some serious work done. I finally hung my Wildlife Habitat sign.

Lots of baby birds and squirrels around. Downy woodpeckers, cardinals, house wrens, robing, Catbirds, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Chipping Sparrows, Grackles, Mourning Doves, Chickadees, Nuthatches,Redwing Blackbirds, House finches, all have brought babies to the feeders the last couple of weeks. The cutest has been the pair of Downy's, Mom comes with the female baby and dad comes with the male. They feed them my famous peanut butter mix. So adorable. So happy to see all these species being so successful in rearing their young.

The last few weeks, Petey and I have been getting out at the crack of dawn and doing a little trail running. Its really nice to get a workout in so early in the day, and the woods are also full of wildlife at that hour. Second week we ran right into a nice 300# bear, so always!

Rainiest Spring ever here on the East coast! Now it's officially Summer~hopefully the sun will come out at some point!! Happy Summer Solstice!