On Saturday I took three leisurely walks at the Eno River State Park. Given the park is along the river you can stop lots of places to hike and explore. I had hoped to find some Splendid Clubtails, rare here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Since we have had lots of rain this spring the clubtails might have washed away and perished while emerging along the shore as the river came up, it happens. Or it might just be early for them still.
Here are some photos taken with my big camera for a change. I've wanted to update and get a new one for several years but have not been able to afford it.
Today's discovery is I call hear cicadas calling in the distance here at paradise! I walked about for 2 hours hearing therm faintly most of the time, yet found no visible signs of them in the air, trees or ground.
Here is the Question Mark seen from the side it was investigating owl droppings and let me approach take photos and walk away, must have been good stuff. The cream marks in the hindwing resemble a Question mark don't they.
The bees are doing fine drinking syrup like crazy, it'll be a full time job making syrup for them. They are drinking about a quart a day of sugar syrup. I make the syrup by heating up 6 cups of water and adding 6 cups of sugar to it and dissolving it. I watched them yesterday morning arriving back to the hive. I noticed 3 bees carrying pollen out over a 100 bees, hope that will improve. The biggest season for pollen collection just ended. Tulip Poplar and blackberries are done, this leave main sources like clover and other flowers not in great abundance.
Around 5 pm I went out there and over 100 bees were swirling about the front of the hive looking confused. Did not know what to do, so I called Monica at the bee company. Here is what Monica had to say: It sounds like the bees are orientating to the hive, or it could be that they were doing their "cleansing" flight. After 30 minutes they were back to normal. Its going to be very hot today if they do this again I'll take video of it for the blog.
One last thing I saw a lot of snakes yesterday starting with a Rat Snake in the bluebird box :((( looking out at me. On the Eno I saw 5-6 Northern Water snakes and this morning I found our first yard Northern Water snake in the pond on a stick. Also had a grass snake in a big tree on the Eno. Today I checked our snake tins (snake tins are metal roofing laying on the ground for snakes to get under. Anyway I lifted the tins and found a worm snake and the largest Ringed-neck Snake I have ever seen 18 inches or more. Both these snakes eat slugs great to have in the garden.