Wilderness Is Lush With Activity

by Curt Kovener   

Both flora and fauna seem to be growing abundantly in the Hoosier wilderness this summer.

The weeds are hearty and the trees’ leaves are deep green and lush exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. While biting insects are in more than ample quantity, leaf eating insects seem to be in less supply than last year. I’ve not noticed any evidence of the Yellow Poplar Scale insect that left poplar trees stressed and sticky goo on all things beneath the tree.

While the tent caterpillar that is found in wild cherry trees were prolific, leaves dined on by the growing worms have re-generated on the hardwood trees.

And the blackberry crop appears to be a bumper one. Of course, last year there were prolific blooms but about the time of berry set, the summer drought of 2012 began leaving berries sparse and seedy.

However, due to the frequent and generous rainfall so far this growing season, there should be ample blackberries for cobblers and wine… and Charley. You’ll recall he likes dining on his nose level hanging fruit while I am picking those more at my level.

The critters seem to be enjoying the regular rainfall and are more visible.

Seed eating songbirds are found at the feeder and the most welcomed insect eaters bring a smile of wonderment as they hop about searching the flowers, around house windows and eaves for edible worms and bugs.

There’s a fat toad that comes out at night to sit underneath a low voltage light by the porch to wait on night insects to be attracted to the light and his private dining room.

And a new crop of minnows has hatched in the lake. When I went down to throw out some floating fish food, the water surface seemed to vibrate with activity as minnows swam to safety from the human intruder.

And the new turkey crop has hatched. About four adult hens were in the pasture near the apple trees showing their young poults how and where to find food. When they saw me they, with the brood of about 25, casually made their way to the tree line and disappeared into the woods.

After all of the wilderness flora and fauna, the evening is capped off by sitting on the rear deck with a chilled adult beverage listening to the bullfrogs, whippoorwill and barred owls singing a woodland lullaby.