The following are from various of my meanderings of the last few weeks.
The first photo represents another little personal milestone: pileated
woodpecker scat. The first and only other time I saw this was several
years ago with Lydia. Since then, I've been searching religiously on
the ground below fresh pileated tree peckage, but never finding it.
When I noticed the super fresh peckage on a white pine the other day, I
rushed over to conduct my usual search, and, finally, there it was. I
broke some of it apart so you can see the fragments of ant exoskeleton.
While studying nurse logs with hemlock seedlings, I noticed (2nd photo)
four more mature hemlocks growing close together in a row. Starting
with the tree closest to the camera, and count four trees in a line away
from the camera. Could they have started life on a nurse log?
The 3rd is some type of puffball fungus dispelling spores, I guess,
on a beech snag. I know almost nothing about fungi but was fascinated
by the structure of these things.
Last is a picture of muskrat tracks in overstep walk, taken in Bolton,
several wks ago. Note the drag marks. As
soon as the weather warmed up, skunk and muskrat tracks began to appear
here and there...and some dead skunks on the road, too.