You may remember that last June I wrote a post called This Year's Bumper Crop. Well, having figured out what the bumper crop for 2013 is, I thought I would write a sequel. To tell you the truth, I couldn't even remember what last year's crop was, and so was very dismayed to find that it was ticks. The reason that this is so dismaying is because I have to report that this year's bumper crop is ticks. I mean, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, we have ticks. We have them crawling all over us, latching themselves onto us, and generally driving us crazy, because even after you get rid of them, you still keep thinking you feel one on your leg or arm or somewhere. I makes last year seem like a stroll in the park without ticks. I have seen several people talking about the blood-sucking fiends on Facebook, too, so I will consider that independent confirmation.
There does seem to be another bumper crop, and this representative was nice enough to stop and let me take his (or her) picture. I wish you could see in this picture that his head was bright orange, (much brighter than that), but the larger I make the picture, the less orange you can see.
Bill saw a big one trying to get in our pool the other day, and there are quite a few that sit on a stump in the lake around the corner. There are tons of turtles running around, uh, well, there are tons of turtles around here. Unfortunately, most of them are not running, or even crawling, but taking their rest on the side of the road. When I walk along the road by the side of the swamp to take pictures on Saturday mornings (more about that later), it is hard to put foot to ground without desecrating the last resting place of some chicken-emulating reptile that could have grown up to be a Ninja warrior or Renaissance painter, but now has been reduced to being some buzzard's dinner. One of these days, turtle mothers are going to learn not to read The Tortoise and the Hare to their babies, because, obviously, slow-and-steady does not always, if ever, win the race on blacktop.
Another abundant species this year is the mourning dove.
On the day I wrote the post with the recording of the birds in my yard, I saw one of these in a tree on a branch right in front of my face, but I didn't have my camera. I remember thinking that it was the first time I had seen a dove in my yard, or noticed a dove around here anywhere. Since then, I have been hearing them everywhere, and seeing them every time I drive down a road, but I cannot get a picture. These guys love to play chicken. They run out into the road in front of the car and then when you think you can't help but run over them, they take off. But they don't sit still, and they are hard to see until you get right next to them, so you can't get close enough to take a picture.
The reason that I have been wanting to get a picture to show you is because I have, I am sorry to say, misled you. The sound that is about 20 seconds in on that recording is a mourning dove and not an owl, as I said. So I thought I would get a recording of the owl and a picture of the dove and apologize for my mistake, but it's been hopeless.
So, if you want to see a lot of any of these things this summer, come see me--but bring some insect repellent and a pair of tweezers.