Posted by: atowhee | July 13, 2017



Our Euro-American calendar based on solstices and equinoxes is fine for understanding our planet’s place in the solar system. That same calendar has little resemblance to the patterns in our natural world. The cliché pretends that plants sprout and bloom in the spring, grow and put on seed or fruit in summer, mature in fall and lose leaves. Animals are supposed to follow the same general pattern: court and mate in spring, raise young in summer, migrate in fall or move to protected habitats. No plant or animal here in the Northern Hemisphere reads our manmade calendar; each species has a calendar of their own, far older and more attuned to what survival and procreation require.
Right now the baby Vaux’s swifts hatched in our chimney are calling for food, soon they will fledge and fly. They will mostly be gone before summer officially ends. Local Great Horned Owls bred last winter, giving their young all summer and fall to learn the necessary owl tricks so they can manage the coming winter. In our garden the blueberries are already ripe and our parsley plants very much want to go to seed. Many wild grasses are already shedding their seeds to be spread by wind and furry critters. I mentioned earlier this week that adults of Arctic-breeding shorebirds are starting to arrive and summer is not half over yet. Some plants, like oaks, may continue to grow roots and form buds long after autumn arrives on the calendar. Last winter the heavy rains brought forth large clusters of mushrooms.
I don’t remember finding a new mushroom in the wild during our summer.
Many insect populations are starting to build. There are many more bees, ants and dragonflies than there were a few weeks ago. Just today I saw a pool of still water with dozens of small winged ants littering the surface. Nature is most profligate when the sun is supplying the most energy to living things. Much of the richness of living forms is dependent on the magic of photosynthesis which happens only when there is sunlight.
Last night as darkness deepened shortly after 9PM we watched eleven big brown bats (that’s a species and a description) as they squeezed out of their daytime roost. One at a time they wriggled out of a narrow slit between the brick chimney and the loose tar shingle roofing on one of our neighbor’s home. Each one sped rapidly to the west, likely to feed over the lawns and ponds at the nearby golf course.
Then we must expect significant changes in annual patterns as the climate shifts. Migratory arrival and departure dates, growth, blooming and fruiting cycles, even distribution ranges will be altering, sometimes so fast each of us will notice.
Hawthorns ripening, blackberries still small, green and hard:B-BRREESHAWS AMIGHTY
Checkermallow and wild rose still in bloom (meanwhile that laggard, wild chicory, is just beginning):IMG_0256IMG_0258


  1. Do the neighbor’s know they have bats for neighbors or I should say, roommates?

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