Thursday, June 11, 2009

Before I'd even made it down Pottery Road this morning I'd seen a hawk being mobbed by some smaller birds, and the lovely indigo bunting again at Todmorden. When I got to the Beechwood mulch pile I thought for a minute someone had thrown a dead goldfinch onto it:

(more on this later)

I took a few pictures, then turned to find a curious deer watching me from across the path. I have to say, these deer are much more inquisitive than I'd imagined. It ducked back into the trees but I found it and a friend a moment later:

Happy to have had my deer sighting du jour, I headed into Beechwood proper to get to work -- and surprised three more deer. Oops! Remember what I said about whole herds of deer cavorting in there amongst the tall goldenrod ...?

Scary deer:

Those antlers are coming along nicely, aren't they? Note to self: turn off auto-flash.

Less scary deer:

They ate a bit more, then headed for the embankment at the back of the site, and northwards. So that's at least five in the area. I'm getting a bit jaded now. "More deer, ho-hum, could you hurry it up so I can get to work here?" (Not really. But I am getting used to the idea of these large animals being in the neighbourhood.)

As for my work, I cut more Japanese knotweed and pulled a lot of tansy. The tansy is really trying to stage a takeover, but I'm onto it. If the ground isn't too dry I can pull the whole plant out without too much trouble. It has a very strong spicy smell which I dislike, but c'est la guerre. I don't seem to have taken any pictures of it -- I guess that tells you how I feel about it. I'll remedy that another day.

Some cool pond plants rising above the surface:

Someone's been munching on the reeds. Muskrat?

I stopped to admire these mysterious etchings on a dead branch. I assume some sort of beetle chewed its way along here under the bark, leaving this pattern behind, but doesn't it look as if a creepy centipede somehow imprinted itself?

There's a very pretty tall grass showing up lately. I hope it's native:

Now, let's go back to that yellow thing on the mulch pile. A quick Google identified it as the harmless Fuligo septica, aka Dog Vomit Slime Mold/Fungus or Scrambled Egg Slime. Have a closer look:

And closer still:

How cool is that? This bright yellow stage won't last long, so I'm glad I had the chance to capture it. If you want to see a ton of incredible macro photos of slime molds (and hey, who doesn't?), go here.

Finally, I saw some spotted sandpipers in the river as I made my way home. There's never a dull moment around here. My pictures aren't good enough to post, but maybe I'll get some another time.

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