The girls and I drank in the sunshine yesterday with a saunter through the woods.
Every time we come here, we see new wildflowers appearing. This time we saw May apple.
Apparently the flower will morph into a yellow berry that can be made into jelly. (The rest of the plant is poisonous.) I’ve noticed the broad-leaved plant for a few weeks now, carpeting the ground, but this was the first time we saw the blooms.
Here’s how it looked two weeks ago.
May apple in early May
This delicate flower is apparently wild geranium.
Queen Anne’s Lace makes me sneeze, but I think it’s quite pretty — not as threadbare as it looks as first glance.
We were on our way to check on the pileated woodpecker nest we discovered in April. This photo was taken on April 19, and I haven’t surpassed it — yet.
At this point I assume the adult birds are feeding youngsters. One of these days, I hope to see some little beaks poking out. But for now we content ourselves with seeing the adult birds flying to the cavity and disappearing inside, or suddenly bursting out and flying away. It must be some deep cavity! These are large birds, and presumably there are nestlings in there too, but you can’t see any trace of them inside.
We did see the adult birds change shifts — the female arrived and the male flew off. On our way in we received another treat: a chance to watch a Northern flicker excavating a nesting cavity.
Flicker shaking off particles of sawdust before ducking inside for more excavating.
I read that these birds are in decline. Starlings compete for their nesting sites and usually win. It made the knowledge of this nest all the more exciting. This is the fourth nest we’ve discovered: the robin in our front shrub, the pileated pair, a red-bellied woodpecker nest at another site, and now the flicker. There’s a feeling of privilege in being able to observe such things.
The day was so nice that we took another short stroll at a different place. We stumbled upon a buttercup carpet.
These are just a few of the sights and sounds we enjoyed. We also saw many yellow warblers, mockingbirds, catbirds, robins, chipping sparrows and song sparrows and tree swallows. Off in the woods, we heard a hermit thrush sing its rippling, echoing song. A Baltimore oriole flitted about in the treetops overhead, warbling conversationally.
Beauty everywhere. It was inspiring and quieting in the best ways.