OUT BY THE OLD WOOD PILE

Spring beauty Scilla siberica Kim SmithSpring Beauty (Scilla siberica ‘Blue’)

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.

GOOD HARBOR BEACH AFTER THE STORM

Good Harbor as a recent storm departed. There is often a moment or two when a storm is ending when the colors of the landscape take on brilliant hues.

Good Harbor beach Kim Smith

Struttin’ His Stuff

A face only a Mother could love ~

Wild Turkey male close up wattle, caruncle, snood Kim Smith 2016Male 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.

Wild Turkey male Courtship display Kim Smith 2016There 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.

Wild Turkey male female Tom pea Courtship display Kim Smith 2016Wild Turkey male female Tom pea Courtship display -2 Kim Smith 2016Tom and Hen Eastern Wild Turkey

Anatomy_of_turkey_headAnatomy of a Turkey Head

1) Caruncles

2) Snood

3) Wattle (dewlap)

4) Major caruncle

5) Beard

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.

Wild Turkey male close up wattle, ear, snood, caruncle Kim Smith 2016Domestic turkey photo courtesy wiki.

SCENES FROM AROUND CAPE ANN’S BEAUTIFUL MARSHES

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.

Red-winged Blackbird male Rockport MA Kim Smith 2016Sing, sing, sing!

Cardinal Female Kim Smith 2016Mama Cardinal

Mouring Dove pair Kim Smith 2016Camouflaged! No eggs yet at the Mouring Dove nest.

Swan male rockport MA Kim SmithMr. Swan looking good.

cattails Kim SmithDissipating 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.

Swan check up and Mr. Swan is doing aokay. No sign of a new Mrs. though.

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

 

Easter Sunset Gloucester

Easter Sunset Gloucester Harbor. 

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.

Gloucester Harbor Smiths Cove sunset Kim Smith

The violet-orange on the water’s glass-like surface in the foreground looked as though it had been applied by paint.

Gloucester Harbor UU Church sunset Kim SmithGloucester’s Unitarian Universalist Church beautiful steeple.

Gloucester Harbor City hall sunset -2 Kim SmithCity Hall Continue reading

Mystery at Loblolly Cove

Loblolly Cove late day

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

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

Cardinal Loblolly Cove rockport Kim SmithSing Your Heart Out Fella!

Common Eider juveniles Kim SmithYou 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.

Common Eiders Bufflehead Kim SmithAdult Male and Female Common Eiders with Male Bufflehead in Flight

Sweet sounds of spring – male Cardinal love song ❣

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on