Last month, I wrote about the lack of waterfowl and hopes of good warbler migration.
Well, that was about nonexistent, too. Many no-shows and many more of just one or two sightings. My feeder visitors are in low numbers, too – a few orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks, lots of white-throated sparrows and juncos.
Nighthawks made a good showing, swooping over the lake catching bugs.
But as I sit on the dock in the mornings, the woods that normally is a constant choir of bird song is only a few sololists with silence in between acts. It’s more like late summer or even fall.
I am seeing trumpeter swans everywhere I go, along with eagles, turkey vultures and sandhill cranes.
And surprisingly, after the winter we had, I’m seeing a good number of fawns. There is also a high number of black bears, who I’m sure, are also finding some fawns.
The snapping turtles are in good numbers, laying eggs in the roads at night – and I see the skunks digging up the eggs about as fast as they’re buried.
The wild flowers are all blooming nearly on time, with the showy lady’s slipper – our state flower – now starting to bloom in damp ditches. Unfortunately, Hubbard and Cass counties have decided to start mowing the ditches early and have taken a lot of them out before they bloomed. I also have to wonder how that mowing affected many ground-nesting birds and all that milkweed with the first generation of monarchs feeding on them. The monarch showed up late and in low numbers, so they can use all the help it can get.
I observed my first question mark butterflies in several years, so now I'm hoping for a good year for butterflies and the return of some species that have been missing for several years.
The berry crop is looking good, if we can just get enough rain to ripen them off. I did find a few ripe wild strawberries already. June berries will be soon, than blueberries.
Summer is off to a fast start and soon the days will be getting shorter, so best get out and enjoy it before it's gone – and at the rate we are destroying this planet and from the warnings she is giving us, it may not be too far off.
An outdoorsman all his life, Dallas Hudson grew up in Akeley. He tracks the birds, animals, insects, plants of northern Minnesota in his daily journals. Hudson shares his nature observations and photos with KAXE’s Season Watch, the Minnesota Phenology Network and the Park Rapids Enterprise. He works at an official field camp of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on Shingobee Lake, near Akeley.