I love where I live. It’s a Camp/Conference center, and there’s going to be a wedding here today. Last night, a knock on the door (the house I’m staying in for the winter says “staff residence” on the door, so there will be a few interruptions now and then) as friends and I were having coffee and fresh apple pie. It was one of the wedding guests, asking permission to park his car at the bird observatory building, so the wedding present to the bride and groom wouldn’t be visible from the dining hall. He pointed to his car – and there on the roof, was a beautiful, dark green, brand new canoe! Not your run-of-the-mill wedding present, to be sure – but then again, how many people choose to be married in the woods at a Camp? My kind of people. Permission was granted, of course.
This huge leaf was waiting for me behind the Observatory door this morning when I went down to fill the feeders. You can’t get a good idea of size here, but the leaf measures 14 inches across at the widest part, and 12 inches from stem to tip. It was on the gravel, just outside the library door, a gift from the sycamore tree on the front lawn.
The duckweed is coming off the pond now, and instead of the total green scummy look, there is a small area of open water. The wood ducks are still here – peeping and whistling and flying into the trees if they are disturbed. But they never go far, and come right back to the pond. It’s a good place for them – there are downed logs near the shore that provide shelter; cattails and other reeds. And plenty of duckweed. If you look hard in this picture, you’ll see the little bit of open water, right behind that bare tree in the middle of the photo. That tree sits right near the shore, so the green stuff behind it is the duckweed.
It occurred to me that I probably never actually put a picture of the bird observatory building on this blog, so here it is. The wishing well out front is an actual well, but a recessed cover and grate protects anything from getting inside. It makes a great place to hang the feeders, and a piece of plywood over the top is a good place for the chipmunks and squirrels.
It does cause the heart to flutter a bit the first time you see a chipmunk dive into the well. I was waiting for the plop! but there he was, safe and sound on the cover, climbing all over the stones, his cheeks all puffed up with stashed sunflower. Now its commonplace and I don’t give it a second thought.
I used to bring the seed in at night, but then started leaving it out, using it as a ‘bear barometer.’ I figured if the feeders and suet were undisturbed in the early morning when I came down to open nets, it was a pretty safe bet there hadn’t been any bears during the night. Not so. The momma bear that tore up the shed never touched the feeders or the suet. So much for a bear barometer.
This is a new building, so it’s kind of bare yet, but we will be planting a butterfly garden and other flowers come spring. Can’t wait!
OK – I’m starting to ramble so I’m headed back to the writing project. Later….