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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Fur, Feather, Spikes and Storms
We got a lot of rain in a short amount of time, and lots of thunder and lightning, but all is well. Just north of us they had very large hail! Everything looks green and fresh! That's the word about the storms.
The fur was visiting my lawn at breakfast time. This is an eastern cottontail rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus, the only rabbit we really have here. This is a very large one, wise enough to have survived winters and roads- probably the one who left many of the tracks to my compost bucket this winter.
I had just a few work assignments to do today. The first one took me to Round Lake in Oceana County. (Probably every county in Michigan has a "round lake.") This one also had a pair of Canada geese, Branta canadensis. I was going to leave those for Ratty, but when I looked at the picture and saw the unfurling cinnamon fern too, I decided it was a nice picture. Now you have the feathers.
But, here's the best viewing of the day! I next went to School Section Lake and found this fine snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina. I have seen bigger ones, but not very often! This is one of those creatures that seems to be left over from the age of the dinosaurs. And, believe me, you don't want to mess with these guys. He could take off a finger or two with no problem. They won't "strike," but you don't want to pick one up. I've picked up babies which were about two inches, but anything with about a six-inch or larger shell, just look but don't touch!
If you click the picture you can access the other pictures from the encounter, including one where it was walking across the road, not hunkered down. Aren't the flabby spikes on its tail interesting? It looks like a real-life dragon! It must have just come out of the lake because it's covered with fresh duckweed.
I love it when a day brings so much wildlife my way!