Saturday, April 24, 2004

Picture of bluebird nest with 5 eggs
Bluebird Eggs
Five bluebird eggs in the nestbox!

The last egg was laid on April 22. The expected hatching date is two weeks from then on Thursday, May 6.

The mother bluebird likes to peek out the nest box hole when I approach. She's a spunky little thing and I have to admit I'm fond of her.

I'm not so idealistic to think the five eggs are going to result in five beautiful bluebirds. Nature is nature, and there are many predators around to feast on those eggs and/or the bluebird parents.

Approximately half the eggs from monitored boxes result in a successful fledgling. I've done my best to provide a clean and protected nest box. Now we'll see what happens next.

Picture of west lot after fire
DH Bob burns the oak leaves I'm raking up.

Usually I tell him when I think it's too windy, he tells me not to worry because he knows what he's doing, and I worry anyway and try to leave him alone to get the job done.

Thursday night it was barely windy. Before leaving for doggy school I asked him to burn the pile I had raked up.

He did. He felt so safe that he left the fire and took the dogs for a walk on the back three acres.

How could he not feel safe when his worrying wife declared it so?

When he came back, the fire had spread into the west wooded lot and he had an emergency on his hands. Fortunately someone passing by stopped to help him and he didn't have to call the fire department.

Picture of primroses after fire
I came home from doggy school to find the plants in the west shade garden looking wilted and singed.

First thought was that at least I wouldn't have to rake this area now. Not true. The fire danced along the top layer of dry leaves and left the layers of wet leaves below.

It still needs to be raked and now the leaves have an ugly layer of ash on top of them.

This picture is the same primroses that were so colorful in the April 21 post. They will live to bloom again - just not this spring.

Picture of violets after fire
The main blue violet patch is in an area that only gets a light scattering of oak leaves. The fire passed on both sides of it, but didn't go through the violets.

It's been a very dry April. We need rain.

The weather forecast looks like we may get that needed rain during our three hour flower identification field trip tomorrow. I'll try hard not to complain if that's what happens.