A sea of blue by the old wood pile ~ A lovely surprise to come upon this sweet patch of Siberian squill near to the place where I was photographing the sky over the harbor in yesterday’s fast moving storm. Squill is a carefree, pest-free plant, whether lighting up a woodland edge, carpeting a lawn, scampering through a rock garden, or carpeting the forest floor. Its one growing requirement: plant in well draining soil; squill does not like wet feet. They are small, so you will need to plant lots to make an impact, but squill will naturize over time and in a few short years, you’ll soon be digging up clumps to share with friends.
In mid-fall, plant the rounded end of the bulb down, pointed end up, about 3 to 5 inches deep and about 15 per square foot
Nicknamed Siberian Squill not because it is from Siberia, but because it is hardy through zone 2.
Male turkey’s faces are brilliantly colored red, white, and blue and change color depending on what mood. A solid white head indicates the most excited.
There were three males courting in this group, with one being the dominant Tom. To attract the females, the males were spreading their tail feathers (called strutting) and spitting. Group courtship like this usually takes place after the winter months in March and April, when they are still flocked together.
Tom and Hen Eastern Wild Turkey
Anatomy of a Turkey Head
3) Wattle (dewlap)
4) Major caruncle
Notice the small light tan colored holes to the right of the eye in both the above photo and the top photo. That is the Tom’s ears with which he can hear quite well.
The photo below is not tack sharp so I almost didn’t post however, it demonstrates that this turkey is comparatively more excited as his face is more white and blue than the turkey in the first photo. And you can see the ear quite clearly in this photo, too.
Cape Ann marshes are coming to life, in spite of the snowy days and unseasonably cold temperatures. Choristers make themselves readily known with their mating songs and with still bare tree limbs, they are fairly easy to spot.
Sing, sing, sing!
Camouflaged! No eggs yet at the Mouring Dove nest.
Mr. Swan looking good.
Dissipating cattail seed heads make for terrific songbird nesting material.
Turn up your volume and listen for the male Red-winged Blackbird song in the instagram below, just audible enough through the noisy Mallards quacking.
Easter’s saturated sunset from East Gloucester was arresting, becoming even more so after the sun set. The colors on the water momentarily reflected the voluptuous hues of the twilight sky, when very quickly the horizon turned glowing coral-pink-peach before extinguishing itself in purple.
The violet-orange on the water’s glass-like surface in the foreground looked as though it had been applied by paint.
Gloucester’s Unitarian Universalist Church beautiful steeple.
Don’t you love the sound of the word loblolly? I am curious as to why Loblolly Cove is called as such. There is the Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) but that is a species that grows in the the southern United States. Nautically speaking, loblolly refers to a thick gruel served on ships. Geographically, in some southern US dialects, a loblolly is a mire or mudhole. Loblolly Cove is neither of these. Perhaps the namer of Loblolly Cove just liked the name. To me, it sounds like the perfect setting for a mystery novel, the kind you read when a kid on summer vacation – “Mystery at Loblolly Cove.”
Scenes from around Loblolly Cove
Sing Your Heart Out Fella!
You may have noticed odd-looking Common Eiders on our shores lately. They are juvenile males. It takes several years for the adult male to develop his distinctive and crisp black and white wing pattern.
Adult Male and Female Common Eiders with Male Bufflehead in Flight