Thirsty Thursday

Well folks, this old squirrel thinks it’s hot… and look who else agrees with Ol’ Wally!

Fish in the shade

The fish are even seeking out the shade.

Had a nice visit to a local pond this week. I know you humans are seeing a lot of birds here on The Squirrel Nutwork, but they are a bit busy this time of year, and it’s not different down at the ponds.

Spotted Sandpiper

Thought you might like this Spotted Sandpiper–I suppose a muddy shoreline inland holds just as many bugs as a muddy marsh edge.

But I daresay we have prettier flowers around here.

Wild Lupine

The Wild Lupines, Lupinus perennis, grow big and lush with their roots getting proper water. While looking this one up for me, Miz Flora discovered my comment on that was rather ironic–lupines like poor sandy soil, in either part shade or sun. Doesn’t sound like our Virginia clays would be much good, but next time I’m over that way I’ll dig around a bit and see if this was a gravelly patch.

Ol’ Wally was surprised to learn the Wild Lupine is the ONLY food eaten by the Karner Blue butterfly caterpillar. (As you might guess, this is a small blue butterfly–here’s the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fact Sheet on the Karner Blue butterfly.) Huh, poor little guy. He’s on the endangered species list. We don’t see too many lupines around. Perhaps you humans would like to give a few a home in your garden?


Thirsty Thursday

Ponds are greening up around the area.

Wooded pond

That sunlight Nutmeg was saying hits the ground when no leaves are on the trees also hits the woodland ponds and makes the algae grow. We hear you humans react to this with cries of ick, but it’s good for the tadpoles, and if not tadpoles, the water bugs.

And then the birds come along, like this spotted sandpiper…

Spotted Sandpiper

and the bugs get eaten. Most people think of these as coastal birds, but they are common along creeks and ponds as long as they can find food. See, it’s good those ponds grow algae.