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Oriole photographs taken May 7, 2012

Mayflies

There’s a huge hatch this morning. Genus Hexagenia?

Early turtle

Painted and snapping turtles clamber up the steep banks of Farrar Pond and through rough woodland, sometimes for hundreds of yards. When these energetic parents identify just the right patch of friable soil, they scoop out a narrow hole with their hind legs, pack it full of eggs and soil, moisten it, and head for home. Sadly for the turtles, most of these nests are predated before the next morning; a scattering of leathery shells is all that remains of more than 90% of the nests. But enough survive to carry on the lineages.

If the expectant mothers find a vernal pool or other small pond like this one, they may rest and refresh for up to several weeks before laying, and then immediately return to the larger body of water.

Chrysemys picta relaxing at the spa

Chrysemys picta relaxing at the spa

This year, like so many other flora and fauna here, the turtles are out a couple of weeks early. Please drive slowly near ponds, swamps and streams; a black turtle hides all too well on an asphalt road.

The beavers’ contribution

MIT mascot raids the larder

MIT mascot raids the larder

 

Beaver dam touches earth, water and sky

Beaver dam touches earth, water and sky

 

Mute swan patrols outside the dam

Mute swan patrols outside the dam

 

... while Canada geese dine within

... while goslings safely graze within

Budding hickory

Tough tree, tender shoots