Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bluebirds of Happiness? #phenology

A bluebird pair has been coming and going from the nest box for the past several days. Curiosity got the better of me and I snuck up and took a very quick peek inside while the adults were elsewhere. It looks like three recently hatched bluebird chicks, nestlings(?) are hunkered down, waiting for some food. They weren't sitting up and making noises as often seen with young birds. I hope that's just because they're barely out of their shells. We'll see how things look in a few more days, after I've had a chance to read up on monitoring bluebird nest boxes. (The hatched chicks in the linked monitoring photo look similar to, but more robust than, the ones I saw a bit ago.)

Eastern bluebird male
Eastern bluebird male
Photo by J. Harrington

Eastern bluebirds are one of the species I've decided to observe for Nature's Notebook and the Minnesota Phenology Network. Others will be ruby-throated hummingbirds and, probably, tamaracks, once I decide on which nearby location to monitor. That's three of the seven species MPN considers superstars.

ruby-throated hummingbird male
ruby-throated hummingbird male
Photo by J. Harrington

A few more butterflies have appeared within the past few days. An eastern comma and a little wood-satyr have each flittered about the driveway and the front garden. (The photo quality is poor enough that I'm not going to post either.)

I've been noticing, based on my own reactions, that learning the names of local flora and fauna is unsatisfactory, if that's all I learn. The phenology observations will, I hope, provide a basis for learning more about the species I report and also provide some badly needed structure for my observations and interests. There's so much I don't know and want to know.

The Call of the Wild



I'm tired of the gloom

In a four-walled room;

Heart-weary, I sigh

For the open sky,

And the solitude

Of the greening wood;

Where the bluebirds call,

And the sunbeams fall,

And the daisies lure

The soul to be pure.

I'm tired of the life

In the ways of strife;

Heart-weary, I long

For the river's song,

And the murmur of rills

In the breezy hills;

Where the pipe of Pan —

The hairy half-man —

The bright silence breaks

By the sleeping lakes.

I'm tired of the gloom

In a four-walled room;

Heart-weary, I sigh

For the open sky,

And the solitude

Of the greening wood;

Where the bluebirds call,

And the sunbeams fall,

And the daisies lure

The soul to be pure.

I'm tired of the life

In the ways of strife;

Heart-weary, I long

For the river's song,

And the murmur of rills

In the breezy hills;

Where the pipe of Pan —

The hairy half-man —

The bright silence breaks

By the sleeping lakes.


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