Apr 14, 2010

Signs of Spring Walk

A week or so ago we took The Outdoor Hour Signs of Spring Challenge. It was NO challenge at all! Signs of spring were everywhere, but we did use the notebook page to help us focus.
We hiked our Conservancy Center's nature trail with Mr. Bingley keeping us "safe" from "wild" animals--like the bluebirds. But not the ticks, I found out later...
This tree had a nest from last year (didn't ID the species) and a praying mantis egg case to hatch this spring. I love finding one of these and hatching it inside. Make sure the lid is on tight or you will wake up to a few hundred baby mantids crawling around your kitchen. Yes, it did happen.

MeiWei loves the goats they keep there. They start bleating when you're quite far off. It's supposed to be an early warning system, but she believes they are just so glad to see she's back. The kid was a wonderful surprise and loved the attention. It made a great sketching subject.

We checked our bluebird houses to find them infested (and I do mean infested) with House Sparrow nests. Two seemed abandoned; the eggs had slid below the bottom of the trashy nest and were stone cold, so we removed them and gathered the eggs for study. The third had a roosting mother. I will replace her eggs with these infertile ones to hopefully thwart her from adding to "the surplus population." (from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol)

House Sparrow eggs. Note the greenish-blueish color and mottled brown spots. These are NOT bluebird eggs. If you think interfering with House Sparrow nests are unkind, read this: (warning contains some graphic pictures)
The cat is tasting the nest!
Those are some of our signs in this neck of the woods. How about yours?
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  1. Hello Mother Robin!

    Love your signs of spring post!

  2. Thanks for stopping by our blog!
    Great post and photos.
    The kids and I read a book a while ago about the problems some "introduced" species do to a different country or region. I even did a book sharing monday post on it. It was really interesting:

  3. Great job on your signs of spring study and your journal page. We have had ticks this past few weeks as well so it is time to check each time we are outdoors.

    I was interested in reading about your house sparrows and bluebird houses. Thanks for sharing the info.

    Looking forward to your next entry.


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