June 1: Hard to believe we're already in summer tracking season. The woods are becoming quieter now that most of the birds are busy nesting. The odonata species were plentiful around the property today- many wandering gliders.

June 2: I'm very upset that we have a feral cat stalking wildlife on our property. This creature has killed an eastern chipmunk and a flying squirrel while I watched. It angers me that either someone is allowing their housecat to roam freely or has dropped an unwanted cat off to fend for itself. And fend they do, but they also upset the balance of nature in a BIG way. They have no place in the wild and there is no telling how many birds and animals it has killed that I don't know about. This cat must GO- one way or another it has to be removed. I am worrying about our nesting Ovenbirds & the many juvenile birds that will all be within it's reach soon.

June 4: We're having lows in the 40's in the evenings and rain is predicted for the entire week. The Red-headed Woodpecker is showing up at the suet again and runs off any other bird that is feeding near him. We're also seeing Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers feasting on the oranges we've sat out. They're such a quiet member of the woodpecker tribe, and so very camoflaged when on the tree bark.

June 8: Tonight was a great night for watching the bats soaring at tree-top level. I was totally spellbound by the many species of insects and many moths that gathered under the mercury light on our garage. Io, cerisys sphinx and a large polyphemus are just a few of the moths I was able to id. Fascinating insects.

June 9: Birded the area west of Rifle River along one of our favorite trails today- hundreds of dragonfly species darted about while the songs of Ovenbirds, Veery & Woodthrush filled the air. We sighted many wood warbler species, Willow & Alder Flycatchers, Towhees and a beautiful flock of Cedar Waxwings.

June 11: Quite a few juvenile birds are showing up around the property. I can hear the young Baltimore Orioles & Great Crested Flycatchers begging for food, but have yet to see them. The trees are so very leafed out that we rarely see the canopy dwellers unless they come down to the feeders or pond. We've had a huge emergence of Io moths over the past few days.

June 13: Spent the day enjoying many new species of lepidoptera in the area. Our first sightings of Northern Pearl Crescents, Arctic Skippers & many others were nectaring on the Hairy Vetch that is now in flower. The Wood Anemones are abundant and Orange Hawkweed is also starting to blossom. This morning I found a beautiful Big Poplar Sphinx Moth on the side of the house. These moths have a very short life span of only a couple weeks. They have no moving mouth parts, so are unable to feed.

June 14: Rain and cold temperatures continue. The soft hoots of a Great Horned Owl could be heard throughout most of the afternoon. It roosted on the property for quite awhile while the resident Blue Jays sounded off in distress. We also watched our first white-tailed deer fawn browse around the property with the mother deer today. Last year we had two sets of twin fawns throughout the summer, but the does seem much more cautious than usual and are just now starting to feel comfortable bringing their young out into the open.

June 18: After a long spell of rain, we're finally getting some sunny weather, which is really a boom for the flora, lepidoptera and odonata species. We spent the afternoon in the recreation area where we sighted many seasonal firsts. The trails were lined with pink Virginia Roses and near the water were many dragonflies & damselflies. Females were busy oviposting. Some of the species sighted were: Chalk-fronted Corporals, Calico Pennants, many Bluet sp, Eastern fork-tail and Ebony Jewelwings.

June 21: A humid and warm Summer Solstice. We spent the morning on AuSable lake fishing & caught a few Northern Pike. Most of the homes on this lake have Purple Martin housing up and I enjoyed watching the beautiful martins gleaning bugs over the water & listening to their sweet songs. The martins were feeding heavily on the abundance of odonata species that were hawking over the water. Returning home, I watched nearby while a young doe decided to test some of the perennials in my rock garden. She ate most of my columbine before heading back out into the woods.

The deerflies and mosquitoes are thick right now and she was constantly trying to swat them and shake them off. While I swatted at a few myself, a Wood Thrush perched not far from the deck and filled the air with his etheral song.
Speaking of insects, our first lightening bugs of the summer are out tonight. I am trying out a butterfly feeder and this is the first evening that a moth came to nectar on the overripe banana that is placed on the small platform. Hopefully this feeder will draw in more species of lepidoptera to observe and enjoy.

June 23: Seeking relief from the oppressive humidity and heat, we spent the afternoon at the park and the cold spring-fed waters of Grousehaven lake felt so wonderfully refreshing. The showy ladyslipper orchids inside the park were in blossom and I was thrilled to find them this season.

We moved a beautiful snapping turtle off the road- so many people run over turtles and this one was no doubt a female seeking a place to lay her eggs. She was pretty mellow as far as snappers go.

June 24: More and more juvenile birds are venturing out of the woods, following the parent birds for food. We're also hearing young American Crows, what a racket they make. Our first Red-spotted Purple butterflies arrived on the property today.

June 30: A steamy day with temps in the 90's. Rowed the boat out onto Grousehaven lake where we did a bit of fishing & prowling around for wildflowers and dragonflies.

Despite the fact that we're nearing the end of nesting season, many birds are still singing- this affords us a good idea of what birds are within the recreation area, as the foilage is so very thick that birding is a challenge by sight alone. Ovenbirds, Veery, Black-throated blues, American Redstarts, Sedge Wrens, Swamp Sparrows, Great-crested Flycatchers, Willow Flycatchers & many more beautiful songs were heard this summer day. While stretching our legs on the beach enjoying the many damselflies and dragonflies, two Common Loons popped up behind the boat. They were fishing the drop-offs and were not disturbed by our presence at all, since we were not moving about or making noise. Motors are not allowed on any lake within the park boundaries- a welcome respite from the roar of jet-ski's and power boats that are so numerous on many of the county lakes.

Additional 2002 Monthly Journals: March April May July August September October November December