Nature Report

The weather’s been nice here for the past two days. Went out to the stream yesterday, and watched flycatchers live up to their name. I’d only ever seen one, so the sight of a pair doing these amazingly athletic mid-air maneuvers after bugs was really cool. Those things can turn on a dime.

Went out to Lake Crabtree this morning to kill time before my biofeedback session, but despite being a gorgeous cool morning, the birds were all in bed, except for the obligatory heron-and-egret show. Oh, well, there are worse fates than wandering around a park on a beautiful morning, although my sandals and pant cuffs did get positively soaked from the dew, and then full of sand, so I squelched into the urologist. (Many people squelch into the urologist, but few, I daresay, for that reason.)

Day was shot for getting any work done by the time I got home, but there was a chipmunk in the back yard, who’s a terribly infrequent visitor, so that made me happy. I wonder if he’s showing up for any particular reason, or if I just can see him now that the stiltgrass has been mowed. I did put out some critter feed, the peanut-and-corn mix they sell, in an effort to distract the squirrels from the suet, since I have to leave out the non-hot stuff for the flying squirrel. Oddly, I haven’t noticed any more squirrels recently, but on the other hand, the suet is still getting devoured on a daily basis.

The dogwood berries are turning bright red. Did I know that dogwood berries were red? I don’t think I did. I feel unobservant.

The plantings at Lake Crabtree had some of the cherry sage I planted. Theirs was practically a shrub! I am hopeful that mine may achieve such size–maybe next year, or the year after.

Something with pink flowers came up in the flower bed. I don’t know what it is. It’s a delicate little thing, perhaps planted by the previous owner. Is it one of the things I thought was a weed and sliced ruthlessly? Is it a weed trying to placate me? Did I plant it and forgot about its existence? (Probably not. I’m usually good about shoving the plastic tag in the dirt so I know what it is.)

James called me out to the back yard last night to look at a gigantic Chinese praying mantis on the rail. Although a non-native, he was still desperately cool. He was huge, and his tiny little triangular head, with the big black eyes, was so alert and non-bug-like. I was a little alarmed that he might jump on my head–I worry about things like this, particularly when I’m wearing nothing but a towel–but he was still cool.

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