The primrose moth sleeps the day away inside the lovely flower of the roadside wildflower, common evening primrose. Note these are not the primula primroses that the florists and supermarkets sell in early springtime when we are so flower-hungry! These are native, and related to the larger garden flower we call sundrops. Aren't the little moths lovely? You have only to look inside a few of the sunny blooms to spy on one of these sleeping beauties.
My neighbor brought his son and 5 year old granddaughter over on a"hike". I picked one of my foxgloves for the little girl. She was delighted to observe that it was taller than she, taller than her Dad and taller than her Granddad. Just as she handed Grandpa her walking stick so she could use both hands to carry the flower home to show Mom, a young snowshoe hare hopped up to see what was going on. The bunny hopped right up, gave us a good look, flicked its ears at us, and hopped off into the woods. I like to think it was okay that we just stood and talked to the little hare since we are adjacent to a nature preserve where probably its lack of fear of humans will not become an issue. (We have given Island Heritage Trust a conservation easement on our bordering land.) We find that many bird and mammal species here on Deer Isle seem to think they are in some Shangri La or Brigadoon. A chickadee once came down and plucked a thread from Ken's collar as we sat in the morning sun having a cup of tea. Amazing.
This past week Robin Alden of Penobscot East Resource Center gave the sermon at the Sunset-Deer Isle Congregational Church. She began with a reference to our Island's clamming industry, surely one of environmental management's outstanding success stories. She gave this talk first as a TED talk. Go to June 25 Laity Sunday's sermon at
http://sunsetucc.wordpress.com/ to read her inspiring words for yourself.
And then you might check out the web site for Penobscot East.
We heard a purple finch singing and from the house watched the male display up and down the walkway. He dragged his wings on the ground and fluttered them constantly while all the time a cascade of warbling notes simply poured out of him. Back and forth, back and forth for minutes on end. We could not see the little female but you can be sure she was watching him too. As the dapper little bird strutted back and forth like some tropical bird on its lek, a bower bird or bird of paradise, Ken whispered appreciatively that birders pay huge sums and travel miles for a show like he was putting on.
Later, when I wanted a photograph to share with you all I took out my new iPad with the fabulous app called iBird Pro that allows you (something like 99 cents for the app!) to call up the bird by name, press on the spot for speaker, and presto! the bird's song. I played it once and he appeared atop this spruce. Not only that, a nearby male immediately started to challenge from his spruce top. Who indeed was this new intruder, they queried, that dared appear where these two had already declared the boundary line was between their two territories? Chastened, I quickly snapped the picture, closed the iPad and retreated. I certainly did not want to be responsible for either of their mates deciding that these guys were anything less than heroes.
While a hermit thrush
sings in the shadows
trees draw quiet lines
across the summer road
on which the Pearl Crescent
a hasty butterfly
Dooryard lilacs are in bloom so of course there are tiger swallowtails galore. This one is enjoying the blackberry bloom along a woods road. One might think that these swallowtails are suburban dwellers, but in fact they are species of the woodland edge. Fortunately for us here on Deer Isle, that goes for robins as well. We have lots of spruce forest edge and you can hear robins singing deep in the shadows. Every poplar grove might display tiger swallowtails spiraling high up into the sunshine. Aren't we lucky!
The sun is out and so are the several species of moths in our region that fly by day. One of our most common is the spear-marked black, named for the white chevron on the wings. I see them now on our bunchberry blooms. Did you ever notice that the leaves of a blooming bunchberry are in sixes, whereas the younger plants, not yet mature enough to bloom, have only four leaves? Bunchberry is a dogwood relative. That shows, doesn't it?
Yesterday we made our annual trip to Birdsacre to see the pink lady slipper orchids. Hundreds of blooms are established along the wooded trails lacing this remnant of forest on the edge of Ellsworth. Well worth scheduling some time after all that shopping...
When I shared the photo I took last week of the question mark butterfly at my cherry tree, I raved over the fact that one could actually see the silver mark on the underside of the hind wing, the mark that gives the butterfly its common name. A friend said "Where?" so here it is, rotated, magnified, up close and a question mark if you use a little imagination. See it?