This week has seen cooler temperatures and changes in the bird calls, animal behaviors and blooming flowers. Most notably, no turtles have been seen laying eggs in a week. Walking past the gravel bank reveals no new digs or disturbances that I can see. The page is turning. Many of the birds have nested and the fledglings have moved out into the wide world. Mourning doves that can barely fly, tree swallow fledglings, robins, and chipping sparrow fledglings have been seen repeatedly. We have been without rain for five days, too. Until last night. A good soaker dropped up to an inch and a half of rain on the area. A rather tall white flower has emerged along the roads and is now blooming in the yard. I hope to look it up when I go inside. Tonight, as I sit on the porch writing this, spring peepers are peeping again. Earlier I heard a toad trilling. The vernal pool along the dirt road is full again. I won't be mowing the trail through the wet meadow anytime soon.
I've been teaching 2nd through 4th graders about "Creepy Crawlies" - the overlooked and often feared spiders, insects, crustaceans, worms, slugs, and millipedes. In my quest for course materials, I found two lovely lady dobson flies near my porch light. The rich browns and delicate wings were lovely, but those formidable-looking mouthparts made me pause when I caught them. The cold has kept the ladybug invasion down, but as I sit here, I am seeing the lady bugs rising from the grass and flying about. I hope the next week brings their numbers up and we can get the "Christmas tree effect" we had last year.