That's a sweet smile, Bakie. Way to ask nicely. Bonus point for gutteral piggy grunt as you hoist yourself into the air. Here you go.
Blue phlox lights up the woods. Mayapples are about to bloom beneath their green umbrellas. So much to protect from garlic mustard...
It's a damned hard world for box turtles. We've laced their ancestral territories with busy roads, and expect them to "learn" not to cross. To look both ways and watch out for cars. Well, they haven't, and they won't, because they are wise and wonderful and knowing creatures, but they simply can't compete with traffic. And if we don't stop and help them across, they don't make it. Box turtles belong to slower, kinder times.
I check Biehl #4, to find the most artful tree swallow nest I've ever seen. They much prefer to insulate their nests with soft white waterfowl body feathers, but will take whatever they find. In this case, common grackle, mourning dove, and one goose feather. Whee! What a crazy nest! No eggs yet, but coming soon. These tree swallows have more than a touch of noir in their interior decorating tastes.
And in Biehl #1, where on April 23 there were three white eastern bluebird eggs, something had thrown them out when I checked again a week later. Today, May 6, I see evidence that tells me who dun it: tree swallows, who have brought a mourning dove tail feather and a piece of white Hollofil, as well as some trademark green grass and straw. The bluebirds have moved to Biehl #3, where the female has laid two more white eggs. I know all this because I keep careful notes, and the white eggs are sufficiently rare that I'm sure it's the same female from Biehl #1. Otherwise I'd never figure out what's going on here. Sure enough, tree swallows harrass me as I make more notes at this box. They'll work it all out. With luck we'll have one pair of bluebirds and two of tree swallows in one yard: pretty darn good! I'm happy to help them all.