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April 29, 2021
Greening Up!

This week, after a run of warm days, when the temperature measured on the thermometer behind the fence has been a steady 20º + in the afternoons, the Nature Park has greened up and things that were easily visible before, like birds' nests, are now hidden from view. The noise of the traffic from Five Road has been dampened, and the water levels in the pond and ditches have fallen.

On the trails, there have been several sightings of garter snakes and this morning, I encountered one coiled in a rut, striking and making feints and letting off the foul odour of its fear.

The sunshine has also coaxed the majestic Cottonwood tree by the entrance to the car park, to release its balm-like fragrance, which seems to drift in pockets across the warm asphalt. 

Nor is green the only colour. The wildlife garden and the vernal pond are showing a palette of colours from soft white and gold through shades of pink and red. A Dog Rose in leaf is attracting a wealth of ladybird beetles. happily cleaning its stems of aphids.

The bees are returning to the hive, their legs laden with pollen and the poor Queen is busily laying between one and two thousand eggs a day.

On the trails, the bog laurel has flowered at last and the blueberry bushes are heavy with white and pink buds.

April 14, 2021
Cooper's Hawks

Easter Day was cold and windy, and it rained hard until teatime, but today, we have sunshine and the Cooper's Hawks have been very active around the Nature House. We have watched the male strip twigs from a birch tree and carry it across the Nature House to an evergreen where it is building a nest. The female, in this species larger than the male , sits haughtily in an adjacent tree, waiting to be impressed by her swain's skills.

On the ground, near the site of this activity, we can see the dissected remains of some creature who became a meal for one or other of the birds. Although for the most part, these hawks eat medium-sized birds, they also prey on small mammals such as rats and squirrels.

When the nest is ready and the pregnant female settles in to lay her eggs, she will probably lay a clutch of from three to five eggs. She will incubate them for roughly thirty days and when they hatch, both parents will feed them for about seven weeks.

Out on the trails, I have seen hawks wheeling and riding the thermals, much lower in the sky than the eagles, but like them, making us earthbound humans feel inadequate for not having wings.

Hi You had a busy summer, I see! Very interesting to read about the parklife. You did hard work...! Through the volonteering in the Richmond Nature Park my eyes are opened wide in my country too.... Please say hallo to all we know. Yours Lea
Lea Hafner
September 26,2020

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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