Moosey Mondate

We finally moved to camp yesterday, and awoke early this morning to that hauntingly delightful sound–the cry of the loon.

loon

While I stood on the dock, wishing the pair would come closer, something else caught my attention.

suspendedsusp2

Suspended animation. I couldn’t see the web, but trusted it was there.

Black Mtn

Our Mondate began after we got some chores out of the way. A perfect day to hop in the tandem kayak and head north to Sweden. Thanks to our friends the Neubigs, who purchased the tandem for us years ago. They need to return and use it–just saying.

island shoreline

We love the upper basin because there are so many islands and stumps and inlets and coves and beaver lodges and you name it to explore.

tall weeds

The only thing that drove us crazy was the deer flies. Yeah. So we know insects are important for pollination and to provide food for fish, birds, dragonflies and others. But truly, what purpose do deer flies serve, other than to suck our blood? Mind over matter. Don’t scratch and the swelling will go down eventually. Note–like black flies, it’s the females that bite. I’d say, “Go Girls,” but hardly in this case.

dragonfly

Among the many dragonflies was this blue dasher, a common variety near quiet water. If only he would feast on those darn deer flies.

button bush

The buttonbush seems otherworldly with its pincushion styles protruding from each tubular flower.

spadderdock

The tight, waxy, petal-like sepals of the spatterdock, aka yellow pond lily or cow lily, stands upright above its leaf–featuring a small v-notch

fragrant water lily

On other ponds and lakes, I’ve seen the fragrant water lily in bloom already, but here it is just beginning to open. Its leaves are larger than those of the spatterdock and notched to the center.

pickerel

Pickerelweed is like no other. Though the upside-down heart-shaped leaves are long-stemmed and look similar to arrowhead, once the flower blossoms, there’s no mistaking it.

pick 2

The flowers are worth a second or third look. They grow in spikes along the pond’s edge. And each is covered in hair. Why?

pick 3

Not only that, but each flower is two-lipped. And each lip is three-lobed. And the upper lip has two yellow spots.

sundews 1

The pond was dammed a long time ago and stumps support a variety of life–including the carnivorous sundews beginning to flower.

sundews 2

At first glance, I thought they were the round-leaved variety, but I now think they are spatulate-leaved sundews. Love that name–for the spoon or spatula-shaped leaves that are longer than they are wide.

love is in the air

Love is in the air.

As it should be on a Mondate with my guy well spent on Moose Pond. I bet you thought I was going to post a photo of a moose.

Red Hot Mondate

It’s Monday. Time for a Mondate. But this morning, we each went our separate ways. He to run and then cut some tree limbs in the yard. Me to meet up with a friend and explore a nearby reserve.

whitney pond

I’ve visited this secluded spot three times, all within the last two weeks. And each time I spy something different.

fragrant water lily

The fragrant water lilies are beginning to bloom. They remind me of dainty china teacups.

galls

Near the water’s edge, a pink candy-crystal gall–I’m not sure of the actual name or creator because I’m still trying to identify the shrub. What causes the color?

beaver works

Bushwacking always means great finds like this beaver works. There are several lodges on the pond.

bracken 1

We were surprised to discover that something had been munching on the bracken fern. As ubiquitous as the plant is, we don’t often see that anything has consumed it.

bracken

White-tailed deer are about the only species that can tolerate bracken fern, which can poison some mammals. It produces a chemical thiaminase that prevents cows and sheep from metabolizing thiamine–they get sick and become disoriented. Cornell University’s Department of Animal Science Web site explains it this way: “When ingested, these enzymes split thiamin (Vitamin B1), an important compound in energy metabolism, and render it inactive.”

Here’s the good news about the fern–turned upside down, it makes a great summer hat and may keep mosquitoes off your head as you walk about the woods.

hemlock cones

Petite green cones dangle from the ever graceful hemlock trees.

birds

One last view before we headed back down the long and narrow dirt road–baby phoebes all in a row.

blueberries

At home, I wandered for a few minutes. It won’t be long before we’ll enjoy these.

foxglove

The trumpet-like flowers of digitalis–aka foxgloves. OK, so these are also poisonous to humans, cats and dogs. Yeegads. So beautiful and yet . . .

 lichens

A miniature world on the stone wall deserves a longer visit, with journal and colored pencils involved. I shall return to this spot to sit for a bit.

At last, I joined my guy for our Mondate.

barn 2

We’re painting the barn. Starting on the back side of the attached shed, we’ve primed it and late this afternoon I began using the actual color. You can see how high up I could reach. This isn’t the color the rest of the barn will be–but it’s so close you’ll never know the difference, unless I tell you. Oops, just did.

Yup, this was one red hot Mondate. And it looks like there will be more to come.