Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge- June 11

I promised more pictures from the Dow Gardens, so here is a Kousa Dogwood- quite different from any dogwood I have seen before. Also I have posted a close-up of a rhododendron flower a la bumble bee. Today we hiked about five miles in the Shiawassee Wildlife Refuge. Water water everywhere....the refuge does have several rivers floating through it; the Cass,the Tittabawassee, the Flint and the Shiawassee rivers. And the park ranger commented that they have had 5 floods there since December. We saw lots of shore birds in the rivers and streams. And we were having a fairly peaceful walk until suddenly a deer came bounding out of the forest near us and at the same time a blue heron decided to take flight! That is the most excitement I have ever experienced in a wild life refuge. I must also say that,judging from the many different bird songs/chatterings, the woods had many different species of birds. We got scolded quite a few times for getting too close to their nests(I can only assume that was what their issue was however). And now we have the rest of the story.. a couple of days ago I mentioned that we saw a painted turtle sitting on what we thought was her nest. Today we saw a vacant turtle hole/nest with broken eggs around it,outside of the hole. Some critter had a tasty snack. It was fascinating for me to see what such a turtle nest and the eggs looked like. The nest was a fairly large and deep hole, I can imagine that digging that hole and laying about eight eggs was no small task for mama turtle. Hope she did not see the rest of that story!

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