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Muskrat

Summer in all her glory

Summer is here in all her glory. Daisies and Black-eyed Susans adorn the pond with the colors of moonbeams and sunrays while dragonflies circle the area looking for a tasty mosquito or insect to snack on.

The world is baking under a scorching sun and the tall trees spread their limbs to shade the man or beast who must venture out into the blistering heat. The world moves at a slower pace on these days. Every movement is an effort. Heat and humidity can drain a person of energy but a slow walk by the pond can restore the soul on a summer’s evening. Lightening bugs float above the fields creating a fairy land that out shines anything Disney can do.

Mother ducks proudly lead their new chicks to the pond for their first swimming lesson. They grow quickly and each day they venture farther away from their mothers. The mortality rate is high for young ducks as they are a prize dinner for the snapping turtles and the occasional hawk that swoops down unseen from above. The smart mothers have learned where the turtles live and carefully maintain their nurseries in the marshes and streams leading into the pond. The muskrats gather grass along the banks and quickly dive into their carefully sculpted tunnels when anyone appears. They then sit inside the tunnels thinking no one sees them as they observe us walking by. The ducks and muskrats must have an understanding because they live side by side in apparent harmony. We could learn from them if more people would take the time to stop and observe nature’s lessons.

The heron stands as a sentential at the mouth of the pond looking tall and stately like one of the queen’s palace guards. He then spreads his outsized wings and rises above us all on a gentle breeze. It always lifts my spirits to watch him circle the pond and then gracefully disappear beyond the tree tops.

Summer is here and her beauty is so very temporary so pour yourself a tall cold glass of ice tea or lemonade and find a porch, deck, patio, or park and enjoy the moment. You will be wishing you could relive this moment some frigid day in January.

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APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

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If the old saying “April showers bring May flowers” is true, then we should have an abundance of flowers for the month of May. That is, if it ever stops raining long enough for the sun to encourage the flowers to break away from their buds.

Bright red and yellow tulips are in bloom atop a blanket of phlox in brilliant shades of pink. The fruit trees provide a backdrop of soft pinks and whites floating above a sea of emerald green grass. The ducks and geese at the pond have completed their spring mating dance and the males gather daily in their version of the waiting room while the females are hidden behind trees and shrubs waiting for the young ducklings to hatch. Tree branches are transformed into nurseries as the eggs, carefully laid in the nests, begin to hatch. A bird even made a nest in a wreath on my door. The species is yet unknown as the mother flies away too quickly for me to catch a glimpse of her when the door opens.

Life is once again busy at the pond. I watched a muskrat gather grass and dive into his hole with a bouquet of green gripped firmly in his teeth. A water snake glides upstream during a rain storm to parts unknown and parts I don’t wish to know. The heron stands at attention at the mouth of the pond hoping to be the first to spy a fish tumbling in from the spillway. New fountains greet visitors with wide arms spraying in a circle replacing the tired old fountains. We discovered the muskrat enjoys snacking on the electrical cords.

It is spring and life is renewed. It would be wonderful if the rain stopped long enough for us to enjoy Mother Nature’s spring fresh palette.

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NOTE–to see some breath-taking views of nature please click on the below link. Earl English is a local award winning photographer who makes the rounds of the craft shows in the summer. He creates magic with his camera and computer. If there is a way to improve on Mother Nature, Earl has found it.

http://ehenglishphotos.com/-/ehenglishphotos/default.asp