Thursday, April 22, 2010

And Another Thing - Tufted Titmouse, Great Blue Heron & Early Saxifrage

When it turns to spring in Maine, it feels as if everything is happening all at once. We went from winter doldrums when the movement of a house fly was big news to suddenly, every bird on the planet seems to be here, every weed is popping out of the ground, and every flower blooming. It's intoxicating if you are an outdoors kind of person. Lawnmowers whine in the distance and the whiskey barrel smell of fresh mulch wafts through the air super-stimulating every one of my senses. It gives me that feeling of eating too much frosting on cake and having my molars sing. I'm not a person good at pacing myself, either. I have to take it all in and I'm afraid I'll miss something if I don't get out the door with the camera. To get some of this out of my system, I'm going to post a spring mini series called "And Another Thing." Nothing says love like sharing an addiction.

Tufted Titmice are one of the sweetest little birds. They have a call that sounds much like a Northern Cardinal's whistle. It's  a big call for such a small bird at about 5 inches. My grandfather was a college professor. He always corrected me if I said "Titmouses." I knew that the plural was actually Titmice, but knowing  he would correct me, I said it incorrectly every time. I don't believe it ever occurred to him that maybe I really did know the difference.
 The Great Blue Herons are back in abundance. They are ungainly in the air and cast a big, slow shadow like a cargo plane. This is the season of the big birds in the air as well as the little ones.
Wildflowers are popping out. I had to look this one up. It's called Early Saxifrage. The botanical name is Saxifraga Virginiensis. The flowers stems stand about 5 inches tall. It's a diminutive plant that does a big job over time. Called 'Stonebreakers,' saxifrages seed in the cracks of boulders and over time, crack them open in a process called bioerosion. In fact, these flowers were right on the edge of the ocean on granite ledges near Alliquippa. Posted by Picasa


  1. Don't you just love the Tufted Titmouse? We have a pair checking out a nest box the last few days. Futhermore, a flight of 8 Great Blue Herons crossed our cove yesterday.

    Big fallout of Warblers overnight. 15 Butter Butts, 11 Palm Warblers and 6 White-throated Sparrows thrown into the mix this morning.

    Your photos are addicting!

  2. Your right everything seem to happen so fast we can't even enjoy them!! One rain or wind an the flowering tree blooms...poof...gone!!Everybody has to love the titmouse...and saxfrage grows in the cracks of rocks on the ledges of where """Alliquippa"""????? I'm a Mainer but I don't guess I know where that is!!!! Can I get there from here'a ?????

  3. Thanks, Robin, I love your site.


  4. Love those titmice !!

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