May — June, 2006

It's been tough to settle into a mindset this spring, it's been more Jekyll-Hyde than usual. We've had drought, then floods, heat then cold, heat then cold again. Spring weather is always changeable in New England, but this year has me more off kilter than ever. What's it gonna be today: shorts and T or jeans and sweatshirt; get outside or hunker down? And say it ain't so ... gloves again?

After one of the wettest Mays on record, things were drying up, sprouting up, warming up, looking up ... then wham, another spell of deluge and cool.

A Splendid Holiday ...

At least the Memorial Day weekend was spared ... Kurt, Tina, Erin, Kelsey & Joe came out from East Longmeadow and Arthur from Leominster (Janina wasn't feeling well). It was a picture perfect, sunny, warm day — the kind you dream of during the long winter. The kayaks practically raced to the water by themselves ...

Kelsey endorses Propel Arthur sticks with the tried and true

Joe & Kurt


As Joe made his first kayak trip around the island he spotted what he thought was a baseball in a few feet of water. Looking closer, he realized that it would be tough to get that ball over the plate, it was an egg. Later, Tina fished it out of the water and put it on the island. Watching her from the deck, the egg looked huge in her hand. Hmm, who laid that? .. there were a few suspects. Erin and I canoed out for another look and some photos. The egg was beyond hatching, so handling it was OK. I got out some bird books and we figured by what we read (and common sense!) that it was most likely a Canada goose egg. There was a new family around (see below)... this poor eggling probably got washed out of the nest during the recent drenching rains.

A big one.

Erin and I round the island ...

and see Arthur headed out for a swim.

Joe showed his stuff with a real ball, pitching to Kurt in the backyard — the kid has an arm! And ... even with the kids getting older and more sophisticated, they still dug out the crayons, pencils and paper and wound up coloring at the kitchen table. ... it warms my heart. Here's hoping that never changes!

Coloring lives on

Tina & Joe in kayaks

Peter, Stinky and the house/yard on Memorial Day

Bird Watching ... Near & Far

As is pretty obvious, I'm fascinated by — and love, love birds. In addition to some I've seen this spring out our window — ring-necked ducks, a loon, wood ducks, swans, osprey, hummingbirds, Baltimore oriole, green heron — I've also been watching eagles from afar.

Three thousand miles afar, off Vancouver Island, British Columbia via the Internet and a great nature cam. First, the Hornby Island eagles, a magnificent pair working hard to nurture two eggs to hatching. Day after day, they took turns on the nest. Such dedication and perseverance was inspiring to watch. They would tend and tuck the eggs, always moving carefully around them before settling atop. Because the camera provided a nice close-up of the eagles' faces and the sound of their squawks, I found myself getting very attached to them. Very sadly, the eggs did not hatch and thousands who had watched mourned with the eagles.

The Hornby Island Eagles - screen captures from the web cam

Soon thereafter, the same folks found another eagle's nest to watch in the Victoria/Sidney area. This nest had two already-hatched young eaglets. Seeing this new family helped ease the sadness from the other. Here's a video capture (2.5 MB) I did recently of dinner time ... mom has arrived with a fish and the eaglets are feisty. They are growing up fast and stretching and flapping their wings, anxious to soar. For more about these eagles, visit the forums.

Meanwhile, here's what's happening in our neck of the woods ...

The fleet is in ...

Female ruby-throated hummer.

Small goose family.

The Food Tree

I'm a lover of roadsite art/kitsch so when all of a sudden we had some in Mendon, I had to pay homage! A couple summers ago, the town's landmark restaurant, Lowell's, burned down. It's been a long process to rebuild on the site and some legal problems have further slowed things.

Meanwhile, the builder (who also built our house) decided to create a new little landmark. Alongside the location on Route 16, he turned a trimmed down tree into a "food tree." First, Ice Cream Cone went up. Then a few days ago, Hot Dog appeared — cute, nicely carved wooden characters. Is French Fry next? They make me smile when I drive by.


Hot DIggity

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