WHAT A MAY DAY WEEK.
The Jocassee Rain Gods finally bowed to our desire to see the sun shine and the sky turn Carolina blue, but after the first couple of days of what most folks consider perfect weather, my eyes and spirit started longing for overcast skies, for the massive cloud shadows on the mountains that more often define Jocassee weather. Not a drop of rain this week, but we’re waiting for it now on this Saturday afternoon. The talk at this time of year is about flowering plants, but let me tell you about all the birds I saw this week. Dozens of tree swallows feeding in a frenzy on insects in the grass right at edge in the park. 50 or so buzzards forming a huge kettle in the sky early, as they were riding the morning’s first thermal high into the sky. Buzzards were coming from every direction to join in. I had a short chore to do, and by the time I got back, they were all gone. I’ve got to work on my priorities. Lastly, I shuttled some hikers uplake for their day hike, and on the way back saw two spectacular loons in summer plumage, two red-breasted mergansers, quietly understated in their non-breeding plumage, and one elegant immature bald eagle, who flew over us so slowly I don’t know how he could stay aloft. It’s been a good week.
BLOOM REPORT: Not-enough-room-to-list-them-all! Highlights: glorious, fragrant, creamy white blooms of black locust and Fraser’s magnolia, beautiful tulip poplar blooms waaaay up in the trees, long, arching stems of doghobble with bell-shaped blossoms dangling underneath, budding viburnum, budding pagoda dogwood, budding Virginia sweetspire, and much more.
EAGLE NEST REPORT: Sadness reigns as we approach the empty nest. Last year two chicks started their lives there, and this year we have seen parent birds around and sitting on the nest for weeks. We’ve been anxiously awaiting the chick’s squawking appearance. Then silence. Not parent eagles, no chicks, nothing.