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Assorted Wildlife, Bumblebees, Honey Bees, Squirrels

Caca de Luna

slime_mold

(attribution: Marshman at English Wikipedia / Eric Guinther [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D)

Not magic mushrooms, but a continuation on an old theme for me: moon poo or slime mold or false puffball or enteridium lycoperdon. Why, God why, you ask? It’s not me this time. Someone posted a photo of this on the British and Irish Beekeepers FB forum asking for help identifying it, thought it might be some kind of beetle juice or something. And moon poo was the answer.

And to stick with the manky:

Dib Bone 2019

This is the bone of some kind of animal, presumably a bone that had been given to a dog to gnaw on. This bone has been kicking around the yard for as long as we have lived here (yes, that is the kind of ‘gardeners’ we are). We had just assumed whenever we saw it, it had been worn down by weather. Until I caught one of the female squirrels gnawing at it. She’s my regular, Dibble, and she is either pregnant or nursing (I have also acquired one of her daughters, so it would seem). Is it calcium or phosphorus? Or just a way to sharpen those teeth?

 

And For Something Pretty

Garden patch May 2019

I don’t know if you remember, but last spring for my birthday, my friend Jo created a little country garden patch. Everything is growing, and this little micro-patch is the first to bloom. I have been reliably informed by Jo that the yellow is calendula, while the white is soloman’s seal and the purple is woodruff [or is is bluebell?]. I will promptly forget what they are called in a minute or so.

 

And just in case you are wondering about the difference between foxes and coyotes…

This page from the Massachusetts Audubon site should fill you in. Yeah, I know there are no coyotes in the UK, but you never know. Plus, I am having regular fox visits to the yard, loads of poop…

By the way, according to the Mass Audubon May Almanac, this full moon is the Alewife moon. Not what you Brits think–alewife are a type of herring which travel from ocean waters to spawn in fresh waters during this time.

I like keeping up with the wildlife back home, am watching Cornell Bird Cams, get Mass Audubon calendars etc.  There was even a Spring Watch equivalent American Spring Live. It can be viewed in the UK from Facebook. It was more science-based than the UK Watches, and refreshingly not all camera-ready (the moth guy was a real hoot). But, it was problematic. For instance, although the beekeepers were obviously experienced, they didn’t wear gloves, nor did they explain why. In addition, one of them kept saying that swarms aren’t dangerous, and kept sticking one of those ungloved hands through a swarm to illustrate the point. Now, I know what he means by not dangerous, and I know why he is not wearing gloves, but an audience of non-beekeepers might not apprehend his meaning or why some people don’t wear gloves. So, I have to say, that guy was a bit dangerous…

Speaking of bees!

Everywhere I go in the yard, there are little buzzing pockets of pollinators: around the gooseberry (I wasn’t aware that honeybees go for this, but it explains why it is such a monster plant); rosemary bush; my weeds/wildflowers. And this one right by the front gate. Jo has told me a million times what this shrub is, but just can’t remember. But this morning it was laden with bumbles and honeys

 

Presumably, all the honeys I am seeing are mine. The two hives are going great guns. I’m a little afraid of them, to be honest. I keep waiting for a swarm. We had a rogue bee at Easter that pursued a few of us with a vengeance. I took one for the team and got stung.  I can only think it was because she didn’t like cameras, because on the whole, both hives are relatively good-tempered. We haven’t done any major interventions yet, but some more supers are in both their futures.

I have a lot of bird news, but will save it for next post. I know I wait too long between posts, and then so much builds up, and I keep putting off writing because there is so much especially now. I have also had other writing projects going on. I expect things to ease off, but that doesn’t mean I will be a reformed character…

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Caca de Luna

  1. I’m betting your squirrel is sharpening her teeth, or “their” teeth if you have more than one. I volunteer at our local wildlife rescue center and we have deer antlers available For the squirrels’ chewing.

    I really enjoyed Nature’s American Spring Live. I agree that the moth guy was great. I liked that it was mostly live but I can tell you that the part at Bracken cave in Texas, where the Mexican Freetails spend summer was probably filmed last summer. I think they’re just coming back now.

    Posted by Tina | May 12, 2019, 4:49 am
    • Hi Tina, regarding squirrels, thanks for that information. Just goes to show you learn something new every day. Which is one of the reasons I take a dim view when wildlife shows talk about things ‘never seen’ in nature, or that ‘rarely happen’. We do not see half, maybe 99% of what goes on in nature. Even scientists only get a brief glimpse. Iris the Osprey in Montana is living proof (http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/27/Hellgate_Ospreys/)

      Regarding ASL, interesting to know about the bats. All the cuts back to the live camera with the other guy, and the bats, show that nature can’t act on cue. By the way, I liked the bat lady; she seemed really natural. What I was hoping was that the ‘presenters’ wouldn’t take over the show, make the projects all about them which is what happens with Spring/Autumn/Winter watch here. ASL seemed to avoid that for the most part. (phew, long response!)

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | May 12, 2019, 11:09 am
  2. Is the shrub cotoneaster? I’ve had five swarms in two weeks! Wishing you a less eventful beekeeping season!

    Posted by Emily Scott | May 12, 2019, 9:45 pm
    • Huh! I think you are right. Here I was thinking that the blossoms look like tiny rose buds, only to read that “Cotoneaster is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae”. Five swarms! SOunds like a usual spring for me, only I haven’t had any yet. How are your inlaws with all this?

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | May 14, 2019, 9:52 am
  3. It is cotoneaster and as you say it is covered with small round red flowers at this time of year and when the sun shines it will be covered with bees, I have seen many red tailed bumblebees on one in a local village.

    Posted by philipstrange | May 17, 2019, 2:22 pm

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