Speaking of nests, we put the Bluebird boxes out in the field across the road today. We removed them from their winter home up here on our wood shed, dusted them off a bit, and hung them out in hopes that we'll have a good nesting season.
Last year wasn't so good: not much interest in the boxes in general, and the one nest attempt that I'm aware of did not end well. What it must be like to birth and raise your children so out in the open like that, with so many predators around - I would think it to be quite a stressful time. I wish them health and safety if they decided to use our boxes this year.
Once the boxes had been hung, I took off into the woods to see what I could see.
Lots of seed sprouts. Don't know what the plant will be, though!
There was also a very cool tree that has obviously encountered some strange stresses to be growing like this:
It looks like the trunk split in two and then twisted around itself. As I got closer to it, it started to look like something else, though...
This view looks to me like half of a face of a Barn Owl.
Unfortunately, my walk in the woods was not all about cool and pretty things. It doesn't take long to spot trash by the creek.
This 5-gallon bucket came in handy... for containing some of the other trash that I found.
Dave and one of our neighbors did a pretty major clean-up of the creek a couple of years ago, and they hauled out a lot of tires. There's still a few back there, though.
I really wanted to get at this stuff, but the water level looked to be a little deep at this point, and since I didn't have my diving gear on, I wasn't going to chance reaching for this flotsam.
Standing back a little ways shows even more trash, including the mother lode: a plastic tricycle (it was too small to be a Big Wheel). I'm sorry to say that there are some folks who live way upstream from this spot, clear on another road, and their yard is always full of trash, so I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of this floated down from their place. Not to mention that people like to just dump stuff in the creek every once in a while. You know, 'cause it's fun. Sigh.
I don't want to end this post on a sour note, so I will also share some tracks that I found in the sand and mud.
Not the best impression, but you can easily make out the 5 fingers.
According to my research on the interwebs, these are raccoon tracks. The track on the left is a hind foot, and the one on the right is a front paw.
All of these tracks were made on some fairly uneven ground, and I'm sure the coon had to dig in quite a bit just to keep its footing, so claw marks show up pretty well.