Weekly Notes, June 23, 2013

Doe and Fawn

The summer solstice celebrates the longest day of the year and the promise of warm days in the sun for those of us in the more northern latitudes.  It may be cool sea breezes or crisp mountain mornings that keep the thoughts of shortening days far from our minds as we soak in the summer sun.

One of the most peaceful ways I enjoy June evenings is to sit by the campfire and listen to the Veery’s and Wood Thrush sing their evening serenade.  Later as the owl and nighthawk rise from their hidden perches the loons lonesome call echos across the lake and up into the ridges.  Bullfrogs join into the nightsong and the days last light lingers in the western sky.

The big news this weekend is the Super Moon.  This morning, June 23rd is the actual full moon and what makes this moon special is that it is full at the same time that it is closest to the earth for this year, making one of our shortest nights, a very bright one!  If you missed it on Saturday evening, the moon will continue to appear full tonight.

Highbush Cranberry is a member of the Viburnum Family, note it’s maple-like leaves.  Highbush CranberryLouise writes: A friend found this frog attached to his window (Brooksville, ME) and took this photograph of the ventral side – what he saw from inside his house.  The frog was about 3″ long – you can scale by the spruce needle as well.  Can you identify it?

This is a Gray Treefrog.  Notice the large suction pads at the tips of its toes that it uses to climb trees and other things such as windows.  Also, in this species the inner surface of the hind thigh is bright orange/yellow molted with black as we can see in the photo.  Treefrogs can change their color depending on the environment and other factors such as humidity, light and temperature.Gray TreefrogI had the privilege of watching a doe groom her fawn one morning this week.  A second deer was with them and I am assuming it was her lamb from last year that is just beginning to grow his set of antlers.  He may not choose to follow along with mom and his new sibling much longer as he reaches full breeding maturity.

Spring Deer FamilyThis deer is keeping her family hidden in the Red Oaks that grace the sides of  a salt marsh meadow in Kittery Dma&g map 1.  In the afternoons the Snowy Egrets fly in to feed.  They are always on the move scaring up small fish and invertebrates from the shallows that they quickly snatch up.  Note the dark bill and yellow feet that are characteristic of this coastal bird.

Snowy Egret

 Pam in Old Town has been observing a Woodcock on it’s nest.

The Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick has posted their most recent newsletter that highlights a day in the life of the Center.  It is interesting to learn about their very busy days.  The CFW is looking for host families for the late summer and fall interns.  If you have a spare room and can accommodate a young person give them a call.  It is a great way to provide an in-kind donation, I host an intern in my home and truly enjoy hearing her stories about the wild creatures she handles each day.  Click here for their newsletter…..

In migration news, Monarch Butterflies have made it to Maine!  According to Journey North there has been one reported in Old Town.  Have you seen one yet?  Click here to report your findings on the Journey North website….

Fred writes: Canadian tiger swallowtails, since the end of May, seem to be the most common butterfly in our neck of the woods (Washington county) and even to Coos County in NH.  It is strange that I don’t remember a lot of their characteristic caterpillars last year.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtails