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It's About Time - August 2014

Callipe fritillary, Speyeria callipe

The first flock of wild turkeys showed up in our neighborhood last year. Adults and young together were nine. This year our flock has 22 chicks alone. Early in the morning they show little fear and are easy to count. I think it is the fruit trees in our neighborhood that they like. One of the birds really stands out; its feathers are pure white, an inescapable tag that draws attention.

As the fruit gets ripe and capsules drop seeds, birds that have recently fledged are fattening up for their first migration south. Now is a good time to keep an eye on the bird feeders. Keeping them clean and full will be much appreciated by our feathered friends.

There is a nice full moon in the middle of the month. It is a great time to get up into the high country. Mountains by moonlight are magical. The timing of the full moon means, however, that the Perseid meteor shower is not likely to be dramatic.

The wildflower meadows up in the mountains are coming into full bloom now. Some of the best have a pond or wetland in the middle of them. They are fun to visit but those ponds do produce mosquitoes. It’s best to camp in the woods away from ponds.

Butterfly watching is a satisfying activity when sitting in the middle of a flower patch. There are a number of excellent guides that can help identification. The only equipment needed is a nice pair of binoculars.