Is it a Muppet or a Pawpaw?

Flower pawpaw3

Color of pawpaw blossom reminds me of skunk cabbage blossom!

Flower pawpaw

The green bloom dropped off the branch. Time to start picking up pawpaws?

flower pawpaw 2

Back to the woods to photograph one on a tree! FYI I have only found 2 ripe pawpaws in my life. The squirrels and deer usually beat me to them! They are delicious!

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Tiniest turtle! Box turtle?

Tiny turtle 3

Closing its eyes tight doesn’t protect it from people! Even those deadly claws need to develop a bit more. We spotted it on the road, rounder than a normal road rock.

Tiny turtle 1

How does a baby turtle move when it has to drag bits of spring tree debris with it?

tiny turtle 2

Nose only thing in focus… I’m learning how to use a new phone lens.

Tiny turtle 5

Cool scales!  At least we can rule out snapper. Do you think it’s a box turtle?

Happy Easter! The dogwood legend:

Flower Dogwood.jpg

Dogwood is one of our most spectacular native flowering trees. It follows soon after the unique native redbud bursts into bloom.  You would have missed out on seeing the delicate new leaf if I’d removed my thumb from the photo so please check the leaf too… There is an amazing Southern story about the dogwood tree. According to legend, the cross on which Christ was crucified was made from a dogwood tree. Because of that, God cursed the tree. He made it too small to ever be used to build  a cross for crucifixion again. But he also blessed it, allowing it to be covered in beautiful white blossoms to announce and celebrate Easter. Following the tradition, my dogwood is in full bloom. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a wonderful Easter!

Less than an inch worm!

Insect inchworm

Less than an inch worm… but quite big enough to catch my eye! It just dropped down from a male white mulberry tree by a silken thread. Early settlers brought silkworms and their favorite host, white mulberry trees, over from China with grand dreams of entering the silk trade. The mulberries survived in the new country but the silkworms didn’t.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen an inchworm cocoon but I suspect it was not what the colonists were hoping to collect.

Like all insects, this inchworm has 6 legs.

Remains in the Romaine!

Herring in romaine

Our local male osprey, Diver, brought a lovely herring to Robyn’s garden and dropped it perfectly in line with her newly planted row of romaine lettuce! The traditional native American fertilizer!  We’re pretty sure it was Diver because garden is near his new nest and he has been busy catching herring for days. It was such a lovely fish it must have attracted the attention of a local eagle. There was undoubtedly a dramatic war between the osprey and the eagle in the air over Robyn’s garden. Wish we had seen it happen. If the fish had dropped into the Potomac River, the eagle would have swooped down and stolen it before it slipped below the waves.  But neither bird wanted to attempt to retrieve the fish from inside Robyn’s  fabulous plastic net fencing designed to deter deer, groundhugs, rabbits and turtles.  We have added osprey and eagles to that list. Please use sketch for another CrayolaMoment!

herring 2

Robyn just sent me an actual photo of the herring nuzzled up against a romaine seedling, precisely in line with the just-planted row.  My drawing was from memory.  The fish was the most important part of my drawing so it did (unintentionally) become bigger than life… A drawing allows you to show a whole lot more than a photograph!

Buttered Lilacs! The perfect Spring treat!

Insect swallowtail

Google and Wikipedia may have different ideas about why butterflies are called butterflies but what could look more like flying butter than a tiger swallowtail? My first out of focus butterfly photo of 2017 (below) shows a feast for eyes and nose. Add the Old English name to treat your mouth and tongue too: “buterfleoge”!

Insect tiger swallowtail