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Date:11/23/2014 10:34:14 AM
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High Summer (again)
So this growing season is later than last's (as I've stated repeatedly.) On Thursday, I finally heard, for only a minute, the whirr of the cicada (locust). This whole week I could hear the worried chirps of adult robins as they supervised their second hatch of fledglings leaving the nests. After all these years of listening, I can finally identify three types of "robin alarms." The first is the usual territorial chirp of an adult declaring its territory. The second is a heightened chirp of a parent encouraging fledglings who are trying to fly without being predated. The last is the loudest and sharpest alarm signifying that a predator is near. After over 50 years of country living, when I hear that sound, I stop and attend. (That is to say, I look around) It usually means a hawk is perched nearby or a cat is out loose and crouching nearby, although once, when belle-soeur Susie and her sons heard that alarm, they discovered a snake climbing towards a robin's nest in one of our pine trees.

As I noted last year at this time, the vibrant morning and evening bird-song is dying down and the buoyant chirping of the young goldfinches soaring in the joy of new-found flight can be heard in the clear evening sky. The first Tiger Lillies are in bloom, as are the Marsh Milkweed. I've even noticed a few Black-eyed Susans. We are in high summer my friends, with haymaking and pea-picking and maybe even new potatoes. The strawberries and fire-flies are done for the year and it's time to check for the first greenbeans. --Gary
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