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When Denise Maples was taking a hike in Nags Head Wood Preserve on the Outer Banks, she came across a big bullfrog posing beside a pond.
Meanwhile back in his driveway, Seargeant found that love is not always kind. He photographed a zealous, jealous female bluebird attacking the car mirror, in her attempts to drive away the female she sees in the mirror.
Pickett also sent a photo of a sweet little painted turtle that she found near her barn. I am sure that this is the tiny turtle's first spring. It probably wintered over in its nest, and emerged just around the time that Pickett found it and was heading back toward the river wetlands.
No matter that high winds and rain early in the week blew my hummer feeder to the ground and snow flurries were called for inland, there's no turning back on spring now.
Not only birds, but insects, turtles and frogs also were doing what came naturally in the warm weather. Lori Pickett who lives at Ballyhack Farm in southern Chesapeake near the headwaters of the Northwest River, sent a photo of two mating mosquito eaters. These gangly crane flies really don't eat mosquitoes and don't bite people either. See more about them on my blog.
"I don't know that I have ever seen one so early in the year," Peake said.
"She has been scratching and hitting her reflection. Then she poops on the mirror. Sweet thing that she is" wrote Seargeant.
There was some frenzied nest building going on in Portsmouth, too. I received beautiful photos of great egrets in their wedding finery from Harvey Seargeant. The egrets were courting and working on their nests in their Portsmouth rookery.
A Canada goose couple in Andrea Bell's Alanton yard had to break old habits and sort out a new nesting situation. Bell sent a photo of a goose on the dock standing guard over a nest full of white eggs in the grass below. For years, the goose had been nesting for in a planter on the dock, Bell noted.
Also that day while working in the garden, two chickadees arrived at my birdhouse fussing up a storm at me. Then they both zipped over to the container where I put the golden retriever's hair. Each grabbed a hank of hair and took off, fussing even with their mouthfuls.
"We redid the dock and there are no planters, so she chose as close as she could get!!!" wrote Bell.
Sunday was the day I found my Lynnhaven Carpet about ready to burst into bloom. This is a small daisy named for the Lynnhaven River, where it was discovered and entered into the annals of plant lore a couple of decades ago. I just learned about it last summer and am delighted to have a river namesake flowering in my yard.
"This handsome fellow was waiting for a kiss," Maples said.
I also was surprised to see a tiger swallowtail butterfly flying about the garden. I thought it was really out of season until I heard from Jerri Peake in Pine Meadows. Peake reported that a black swallowtail butterfly was laying eggs on her fennel the other day!
The same activity was taking place in Becky Eure's yard in Seminole Park in Chesapeake. Eure sent a photo of a chickadee pulling llama hair from her nesting ball. The little guy "has been busy all day," Eure said.
That was the day that Chuck Hudson saw his first hummingbird in Princess Women Canada Goose Trillium Parka Red Nz Online Anne Hills. It was the first report of hummers that I had received, but after that I heard from a few others of you that had just seen your first one, too.
Animals venturing out this spring
Last Sunday, the sun shone bright and warm after a rainy cold Saturday. The beautiful day felt like the kickoff to the real spring for me and for many of you from what I hear.