17 April 2010

Bullberry Blossoms, Pollinators and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets

IIII Bulberry Blossoms, Pollinators and Least Flycatchers (16Apr10)

0809 I find myself in a post-apocalyptic world of some kind, wandering alone in semi-jedi garb, my only friend a large turtle who waits in trees while I enter ghost-towns in search of survivors. I scam them of food any way I can, often misrepresenting myself. When I get fed, I leave, stopping in the trees where my turtle jumps down into my arms. We continue on. Finally, in one town, I enter an old movie theater where people are living. Among the souls there I spot a familiar woman. It is Mahoney. We've not seen each other in a decade or more. I call out to her, and she doesn't respond, minding her own business, moving up one of the aisles. I call again several times then whistle. When she eventually turns to look, I remove my hood. There's a flash of recognition and disbelief on her face. She comes racing down and we embrace. Both of us are crying while we hold one another, and she keeps whispering, "I can't love you. I can't love you." She has tried to let me go, forget about me. Maybe she's found a new husband. But it doesn't matter, our connection is still there and we are reunited. Then I wake up, and there she is next to me, and I feel lucky. This morning's dream

1450 Sspopiikimi - just warm enough today to go without a jacket, but wearing a light toque to compensate for the wind

1452 All five aapsspini couples are still in place, including the canal couple and late arrival pair. Curiously, the canal couple is still guarding their territory, which makes us wonder if they're going to try nesting again (theirs is the only one to get completely wiped out by predators so far). The late arrivals seem to have pushed over to the second largest island in the south pool now, putting them very close to the established island couple. The ganders from each are in the water facing one another. They must have settled on an arrangement sometime in the last two sleeps

1457 There are only two mi'ksikatsi couples that have come into view so far - the midpond and south shallows. Where the other three couples are hiding, we don't know. Nor is there sign of the blue-winged teal, but that may change once we get around to the blind

1459 At least one killdeer has made its way to the pond. We can hear it down by the peninsula. They've been around on the river and in the stubble-fields for several weeks, but have only now made their way back here. It is also a heavy redwing clickhopper day, many of them dodging away underfoot

1539 We follow the killdeer calls down the peninsula, and the only glimpse we get is as it's flying away. However, there is more going on down here. The first dandelions are open, attracting a brilliant metallic-blue pollinator who jettisons before we can get a picture. No sign of the baby turtles having pushed out of their subterranean nests yet, but there’s a seed-eating ground beetle scouring the pebbles above them

1541 Just up the cutbank from the peninsula, the bulberry brush has finally bloomed and is swarming with honeybees. Amidst the buzz, two ruby-crowned kinglets are flittering about. We can't tell if they're eating the bees or something else. There are also magpies at the nest, but when I go to climb up and peek inside there's nothing

1612 It seems a good number of small moths and butterflies have emerged. Walking the levee around the south pool and over to the blind, we see a spring azure, and dozens of others that are the yellow and brown of the forest leaf litter. All but the azure are skittish and evade the camera

1616 At the blind, we confirm that the mallard situation here has definitely changed today. At least three couples and a few lone drakes are missing, and there's still no sign of the teal either. We have only the subpond left to hope for

1628 When we get to the subpond, we find the goose in her tree, the gander in the water, and several turtles basking on bulrush reeds. No wood ducks, teals, or mallards though

1647 Leaving the subpond, we hike the length of the wet meadows north, with hundreds of small, dark-brown wolf spiders scurrying underfoot. We pass the midpond mama, sitting on her nest, and more basking turtles. Each time we step over a beaver canal that has any water in it, small pike dart off toward the main pond

1702 Our visit concludes with a moth capture on the north end of the pond. We would like to have a more careful look around, especially given the shift in mallard presence. But we have a delivery coming to the house soon, and need to be there to meet them. Tomorrow, however, we'll pack a lunch and plan to pass a good part of the day in careful watching and listening