07 May 2008

A Big Morning

This morning Lily and I went on a long walk on the Moss Creek Nature Trail. Each subsequent trip on the Trail in the last few weeks has brought about a great variety of wildlife. Migrating birds are plentiful, but it's the other creatures that have really piqued my interest. I'm no expert, but my guess would be that this particular area offers one of the most diverse combinations of habitat in Cabarrus County.

Above is a Blue Corporal (Libellula deplanata) dragonfly. This is a mature male.

Another dragonfly, this one I could not identify.

This one (above) is a Common Whitetail (Libellula lydia).

Another unidentifiable dragonfly.

And another.

As much as I'd like to see Monarch butterflies, this is not one. It is a Viceroy (Limenitis archippus).

Above, the white butterfly with black spots is a Cabbage White (Pieris rapae).

An oriole sighting is exciting for all birders. A singing male Orchard Oriole is even more uncommon. At this particular spot on the Trail, I've seen as many as 5 of them, 3 males and 2 females.

I went further down the Trail today than I've gone recently, and I was rewarded for it. I saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird near the stream, and this male Prairie Warbler.

Taking cover in this tree is a Brown Thrasher. This isn't an uncommon bird in Cabarrus County, but it's the first one I've ever seen here on the Trail. I saw a total of 2 today.

The Killdeer was leisurely strolling along the trail just ahead of us.

The Indigo Buntings were singing loudly this morning. There were at least 15. I also saw a pair of Blue Grosbeaks, a first for the Trail. In all I recorded 40 species of birds on my walk this morning. To date I've ID'ed over 60 species at the Moss Creek Nature Trail since December. The count for my Big Year count now stands at 107 species identified, with a trip tentatively planned this weekend to a migratory bird walk held by the Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation Department at the Evergreen Nature Preserve. I hope to be able to add a good number of migrants to the list at that time.

Apparently Lily was comfortable in her new jogging stroller. She napped for about 30 minutes while I birded.

This thistle flower, the particular species of which I can't determine, was a very bright spot in an otherwise leafy landscape.

05 May 2008

Happy Birthday Princess

My baby girl turned 3 years old yesterday. It sounds completely implausible to me when I say it out loud. Lily has gone from sweet sleepless baby to mostly-sweet sleepless big-girl, and it seems like it all happened overnight.

We spent the day at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, NC with Mandi's sister Emily and her daughter Taylor. The girls love spending time with Taylor, she's such a fun little girl. Ever since I can remember, she's always gotten so excited when Avery comes in to the room. She gets a big old smile on her face and squeals with delight.

Among the activities for the day were a ride on the carousel, a trip through the petting zoo, and of course, a stop at the concession stand for some ice cream.

Avery and Lily wore their new matching dresses.

Lily made sure she wore her "I'm 3!" ribbon all day long.

Then, as is her style lately, Lily passed out on the couch before I even had a chance to put her in the bath tub. Of course, she was in full Princess-gear getup at the time. I did manage to get the shoes off of her before I put her to bed, but the dress stayed. I didn't want to risk her waking up before I got her in to bed, you know?

With that, I leave you with a song I can't help thinking of when I think about my girls and how quickly they're growing up.