Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Morning Ride

Sunday evening, April 29, 2007

Quiet and 46 degrees here with rain still coming down. I'm going out in another hour as part of the amphibian monitoring program but in the meantime, a quick update on today at Vermont Flower Farm. I picked up what I needed at the store and Karl and I headed for Lanesboro Road for our trip back home. The actual road name is RR Bed East and you turn off Route 2 by Rainbow Sweets, drive past the Community Center and then up the hill taking either fork in the road. Either way you go over a tributary of the Winooski River and you get to see part of Vermont's longest, least know waterfalls.

As Karl and I rounded the corner and approached Bailey Pond on the left, my eyes scanned the water surface quickly as they always do. Karl was motionless as he knows the routine well. My eyes picked up two very large birds on the opposite shore, one pure white and the other a duller color not easily recognized from the distance. I assume these were swans and probably the same ones I saw last year about the same time. They are not domestic but I cannot prove what they are as the distance was too great for eyes even with my camera.

As I watched the big birds I let the truck roll ahead on its own. Suddenly Karl went nuts at the same time a yearling moose landed in the road in front of us. It had been in Bailey Pond but I was so intent on watching the birds I didn't see it. Even a yearling moose meets you eye-to-eye in a truck and it's apparently not easy for a dog like Karl to figure out where something so big came from.

The rain was pouring down and I had to put the wipers on, then off and shoot a quick photo through the water-covered windshield. If I didn't have Karl I could have gotten out for a couple good shots but there was no way that could happen. In time the moose left the old railroad bed and headed up the mountain for breakfast. Many would have liked to have seen this animal as close as I did.

If you enjoy wild flowers, this is an enjoyable ride in another month. Long about Memorial Day week, many flowers are in bloom or well budded. If you travel slowly you can find many good examples. If you have a field guide such as Kate Carter's Wildflowers of Vermont you'll have a nice trip and be challenged by what you see.

Today I had to get right home before the ice cream melted. There was planting to be done and that meant getting the little greenhouse set up. Things went very well and we got another 250 plants potted up. Today it was Hosta 'Abby' freshly dug and divided from the lower garden and then 11 different daylilies. We finished at 3 to do paperwork and have some quiet time. Tomorrow the tractor trailer arrives with pallets of potting mix, pots and other supplies. We'll be a different kind of busy tomorrow.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where the peepers orchestrate fine spring melodies as a barred owl, somewhere down in the maples, hoots calls for companionship.

Good garden wishes,

George Africa


Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh my goodness... that's a YEARLING? He's huge! What long legs he has, too.

George Africa said...

This time of year all the moose and deer shed their winter coats. Wild birds are happy as they find masses of new nesting material. Some birds use hair more than others but around here it's not uncommon to see a bird flying by with a clump in its beak.

This past fall the wildlife biologists used thermography to locate and count moose in northern Vermont. This is a very interesting technique which uses the animals body heat as a locator. Moose appear white in this format.

If you think they are all legs in the picture, feature coming face to face with one in the woods. Surprise!!