Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Bits and Bites

This is the frog pond in the Wookie's backyard, where, after initially meeting for a coffee, we went to hunt frogs on our first date. In my rubber boots. Very sexy. In another month the bulrushes will have grown so high and thick we'll barely be able to see the water from this angle. The dragonflies will be out in full force, patrolling the edge, having emerged from their last underwater nymph stage.
Here's a blurry shot of my cecropia moth. Monday night it was ready to fly so I let it out of the bucket for a brief taste of freedom despite my better judgement. It flew around the room a little bit then landed on the floor- but not before tearing a little bit of it's upper right wing. I scooped it up with my bug carrier and after thanking it for its sacrifice, into the freezer it went. And there it will stay for a few days. It's about 4-4.5 inches wide.
On my way home the other night I wanted to get a shot of a beautiful but deadly weed, purple loosestrife. It is deadly because it chokes out other wetland plants. The only way to kill it is by pulling it out before it goes to seed. Because it grows in very ecologically sensitive areas, wetlands, chemical eradication is out of the question. In the above picture you can see it next to the Sackville River. This is about 13 miles (17 k) inland from where the river empties into the Bedford Basin. I was standing on a bridge that spans the river and houses a number of swallows that were flying and darting around me at the time.
Another shot of the same spot but with the sun in my eyes. If I had stayed another hour, the bats would have been out flapping around me.

On another note, I took the bike out for a short ride yesterday. My first since the middle of April. I was able to get the bike down a half flight of stairs and onto the bike rack on the car with no problem and no pain or strain, so I drove to my end of the Sackville River trail and did a few kilometres. I quit when my water bottle holder broke off and the bottle cracked upon impact. I turned around as I didn't want to go too far without water. I saw a few lupins along the trail getting ready to flower, so in another week or so the vegetation along the highways will be bursting with pink, purple and white. Pictures will follow, of course. I watched an osprey for a minute as well. They arrive back in the area in March or so. But late spring and summer are the best times to watch these birds. They fish the Sackville River and there are a couple of spots in downtown Bedford where you can see them coming out of the river and flying over 4 lanes of traffic, weighted down with a 2 foot long squirming salmon, trying to gain altitude. It really is spectacular. A few years ago, someone in my neighbourhood was enjoying time with their family on the back deck when a salmon dropped from the sky onto their deck. A passing osprey lost its grip. Lol. Another visitor, but less often than the osprey, are the bald eagles. They prefer fishing the Bedford Basin where you can sometimes see them with their catch of an eel or fish, crows following close behind, antagonizing the bird in the hopes the catch will be dropped on land. It's like watching bickering neighbours. If you click on the link on the right that says My Neck of the Woods, you can get a view of the Bedford Basin.

Anyway, it was a short ride but as it was my first, I was happy with it. I was able to get up one hill in particular without stopping so I'm in better shape than I thought. Not quite ready for my usual training run of Shore drive with its twists and turns and killer hills, but soon. And the pledges are starting to trickle in. Warning to all who see me coming. I have raffle tickets I will be selling. Just pull out your wallet now and we'll be all better for it.

I'm sending an e-mail to Cranky Baby's mom so I can take her out this weekend on the bike. She has a helmet!! Pics will follow. (I'm nuts, I know) And I'll be set up at a local car show later in the month with my bike on the trainer taking pledges. It's going to be a very busy June.



Nervus Rex said...

I can't imagine a better first date than rubber boots and frogs!! I'm jealous :)

I loved the story about the flying salmon, lol!

We get the purple loosestrife along the railway tracks in marshy areas here in Alberta. It really is pretty, but damn invasive.

Sweet dreams to your moth friend, and welcome to the collection!

Shauna said...

i must remember to say Welcome to the collection when the moth comes out of the freezer. At least it was a peaceful death.


Bubbie said...

Gigging Frogs is a Florida Sport and date night too. Not for me though.
Love the pictures you post!

Shauna said...

OMG!! Bubbie, I just looked up "frog gigging". No, that's not hat we did....We just caught the frogs with a net and let them go.....I couldn't spear a frog unless my life depended on it.



Love your pictures.