The Notes of Early Summer

“In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds in a single day. No man can heed all of those anniversaries; no man can ignore them.” – Aldo Leopold

June 2
Hadn’t seen a bluebird in the yard for nearly a month. Yesterday both a male and female were checking out the next box. This morning the male started its wing waving courtship display whenever the female was nearby.

Saw my first fawn of the season this morning.

June 3
Can’t recall a year when the black locust trees have flowered in such profusion.

Bluebirds are building their nest. The male encouraged his mate to start by carrying grass into the box. Throughout the day the male provided food for the female when she took a break from nest-building.

June 4
While taking a photo of a male bluebird today, the inspiration for the saying “a bluebird sky” became clear to me.

June 11
Female bluebird incubating five eggs. The male was busy chasing away birds that perched on or near the nest box, including dive-bombing blue jays and even a crow.

June 12
Four recently fledged orioles in the yard

June 13
Heavy rain

June 14
Checked my trail camera, several photos of an impressive buck in velvet.

June 15
Got an early morning phone call from my neighbor: “Bill come down to the lake, there are two moose out there swimming!” Although convinced it was a practical joke, I headed down. In the glare of the early morning sun he pointed out two antlered creatures out in the middle of the lake. We jumped in the boat to get a closer look and soon approached not moose, but two six-point white-tail bucks in velvet. A discussion about the difference between deer and moose ensued.

Although I’m speculating, the deer may have been chased by dogs into the water, and because it was opening day of bass season with boats speeding along the shoreline, the deer had difficulty getting back to shore. After a little maneuvering with my boat, we managed to herd both deer to shore across the lake.

June 20
The male bluebird has been pecking at the window in my office all morning. Seeing his reflection and believing another male was encroaching on his territory, he attempts to drive him away.

June 26
All five eggs have hatched.

Observed a woodchuck heading for my garden early this morning. I’ll have to intervene or my lettuce and peas will be gone by tomorrow.

June 28
Went trolling for smallmouth bass this morning. In no time both my line and lure were gummed up with small invasive creatures known as spiny and fish hook water fleas. Both are a threat to our lake ecosystem because they compete with native fish for food and thwart certain types of fishing by gumming up lines and lures. No fish for dinner tonight.

June 30
Saw two bats in the evening sky several weeks ago, but I haven’t see a single bat or droppings since. White nose syndrome has really decimated their population and, as a result, mosquitoes are increasing.

Day lilies are in full bloom down at the lake.


by Bill Banaszewski