Posted in April 2012

What do British soldiers and fairy puke have in common?

The answer is that they are both lichens. Yesterday was lichen day with the South Shore Young Naturalists Club. It is usually Matt who accompanies the girls, but I wanted to go because the talk was on lichens. I’ve been mildly obsessed with lichens since finding the witches whiskers. Yesterday’s talk didn’t disappoint. The teacher, … Continue reading

It is getting buggy

I am sad to report that the mosquitoes are out. The good news is that the black flies aren’t yet, although I do realize that by writing those words I have jinxed everything and we will be eaten alive tomorrow. More good news: we spotted a painted turtle in the pond in our back garden … Continue reading

Colourful birds

We’ve had lots of visits from American goldfinches (male and female) in the last few days. And today we listened for a long time to the distinctive song of a northern cardinal. He sang to every corner of the compass… moving his head and then his body as he did a 360. Here he is … Continue reading

Turtle alert!

I love this time of year. There is something new every day. Today we spotted the turtles! In the centre of Mahone Bay are two ponds which are home to several turtles (they prefer the easternmost pond for some reason). They overwinter in the mud at the bottom of the pond where they hibernate without … Continue reading

First chives

We ate our first chives from the garden this week. (Still need to clear some of the old leaves off the beds.) And the rhubarb is coming up. Looks a little bulbous at this stage, but soon the leaves will unfurl and it will be more recognizable. Last year I had no idea what it … Continue reading

The spring peepers are peeping!

We heard the spring peepers last night for the first time this year. A sure sign of spring! The noise seemed to be coming from the woods behind the house, and not from the pond. So perhaps the little frogs are feasting after the winter before hopping down to the marshes, stream, and pond to … Continue reading

Little brown bat

Yesterday, we had a visit from a bat. It swooped low over my head and landed on the corner of the house about 1.5 metres from where Milo and I were sitting. I called Lily and Evie over to have a look, and Matt managed to take some photos through the kitchen window. It was … Continue reading

Witches whiskers

This pale green and hairy clump of lichen was sitting under the big tree outside the kitchen. I’d never seen it before but Matt quickly identified it online as Usnea florida. It is part of a group of lichens that have been used for at least 1000 years for their medicinal properties. This one is … Continue reading

Welcome to our world

I should have started this 16 months ago! Since we moved into our house in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, we have really enjoyed “discovering” plants and animals and other natural stuff. But we haven’t been keeping a note of our finds, until now. We live in a 150+ year old home in the town of … Continue reading