One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there! Nutmeg gave me very specific options for what I should post for today’s mystery, which apparently falls on a favored human holiday. I did my best, so good luck on guessing.

Mystery #49

Check in with you later! Have a great spring day!

~~~

In keeping with this spring holiday, these are indeed eggs—Wood Frog Eggs. We are having a very late spring here in Virginia, but the Wood Frogs, who must have some sort of antifreeze in their blood, have been out the few warm days and nights we’ve had. You know they’re about if you hear a ‘quack-like’ croaking. Their eggs appear in masses in those pools that come only in spring—ephemeral pools.

Just in case you’re thinking I might have these mixed up with the Spring Peepers we’ve also heard, I don’t. Spring Peeper eggs are laid one at a time, each little jelly mass separate and usually stuck to vegetation—sticks or leaves.

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Happy Anniversary!

The Squirrel Nutwork is one year old!

Yes, indeed, folks, a year ago today I advertised for a new neighborhood and Hickory answered my ad.  Have a look here and here and here if you’d like to peek back to those first days. Ah, that trip to see my now familiar neighborhood was green! So much greener than this year’s spring.

spring on Reston National Golf Course

(I’ve heard tell the season is one to two weeks behind.) I may not have started my blog after my initial advertisement, but the spring was so beautiful last year, and the new neighborhood Hickory introduced me to so pretty. I just wanted to keep talking about it.

I discovered a group called Blogging From A To Z Challenge. I organized my nature sighting blogs by the alphabet. It was a huge undertaking for one lone squirrel blogging newbie. But I did it. On a recent visit to the A To Z website I found a survivor’s badge.

survivor-atoz-2

I’m still thinking about it again for this year. That’s because The Squirrel Nutwork has its own format now.

But that’s due to A to Z, really. April has more than 26 days, so the A To Z Challenge gives Sundays off. My new friend Hickory joined up to help me on those Sundays. He came up with the column, One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve. As of last Sunday, he’s presented 48 nature mysteries.

Hickory loved blogging so much, he offered to do another column, and being a smart squirrel, I took him up on it. He started Motionless Monday on May 14, 2012 and we’ve run it every Monday since ( except January 21st when we had to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day!) for a total of 46 wildlife statues.

Hickory has been my companion on many photo shoots and and helps narrate many of our trips. He helped me convince a neighborhood old timer into blogging with us–Ol’ Wally has the regular Thursday Spot of Thirsty Thursday. He started them back on May 3, 2012 and has blogged on various topics related to water over 46 posts.

Unfortunately, neither Hickory nor I have swayed Miz Flora into electronic conversations, but she’ll have them squirrel-to-squirrel, that’s in person for you human readers. She’s taught me so much about plants and I’m so grateful. She’s a part of out team behind the blog.

The Squirrel Nutwork also attracted a Field Correspondent form Colorado. Coney the Pine Squirrel joined us for two different weeks, one in October and one in February.

But most of all, we have readers, you folks! As of this writing, 66 of you have joined us a regular followers. Thanks so much! We’ve averaged nearly 700 visits a month over the last year–that is, the year starting in May when we joined the Nature Blog Network. This group keeps track of our visits and counts them. When we joined them mid-May last year, we were number 80-something on their Backyard list. The Squirrel Nutwork now ranks number  32 of Backyard blogs, 657 overall out of 2421 in the network. That’s pretty good for four squirrels!

Well, those are our little statistics, something like an annual report. Hope it wasn’t too boring. We’ve had fun. We’ve gotten to know some of readers, and they’ve gotten to know us, really well. We’re going to stick around, and hope you do, too.

“Hey, Nutmeg!” Hickory calls from his leaf nest high in the Metasequoia where he can see everything I’m doing.

“Yeah?”

“You didn’t ask if I was willing to do another year.”

Oops. “Are you?”

“Only if we can keep Motionless Monday in addition to the alphabet days in April.”

“What? That’s double the posts. And I didn’t say I was going to do A To Z.”

“Aw, I liked that challenge. Bet you could repeat last year’s letter topics and no one would notice. Then we’d have the whole month to run around and dig in the dirt. It always smells so good in the spring.”

It does. But Hickory’s blog idea makes no sense. “Are you saying we should add work so we can skimp on coming up with things to talk about?”

“Um, maybe?”

You gotta love a squirrel that lazy. “I want to finish here so I can go for a branch to branch leap. Want to come?”

“Yeah! Let’s go.” Hickory’s Metasequoia starts to shake as he leaps around it.

“First I have to know if you’re going to keep blogging with me?”

“If it makes you hurry up, yeah, I will.”

“Great, we’re on for another year–”

“Or at least for April!”

“Or…so.”  See you tomorrow, folks!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there,

We’ve got spring happenings in the trees, too.

mystery # 48

Any guesses what’s going on up here?

~~~

Hey folks!

We had a very close guess today – only the color was off–those are red buds up there. Not Redbud, mind you. This set of trees, which we do travel from branch to branch in like Sarasinart suggested, are Red Maples. Red Maples in bloom. They are one of the earliest.

Red Maple blooms

Enjoy your spring–we’re expecting snow tonight!