April 14, 2019

            The first foal of the season came into the world on Monday, April 10, at 2:00 a.m.  “Liam” looks just like his mother with a long white blaze from his forehead to his nose.  All legs, he toddles alongside Miss Mae, who is never far away.  They stand in the middle of the paddock, watching us from the fence, Miss Mae guarding her colt carefully, nosing him gently toward the center of the paddock, away from onlookers.  She is quite a stunning mare, a shiny bay with a black mane.  Her coat glows a dark red-brown-black in the sunlight.  Her calm demeanor is impressive. 

            In the paddock next to Ms. Mae and Liam, last year’s filly and colt have been separated from their mothers by a ribbon fence.  Both are growing into fine young horses.  The filly is still black while the colt’s color changes from chestnut to brown to a silvery brown not unlike some grizzly bears.  Next to them are Stacie’s other mares, including Aubrey who is due any day now.  She ambles up to the gate to be petted, her belly protruding on both sides. 

            Mrs. Titmouse sits on her nest in the owl box, buried deep in the moss and twigs.  The first titmouse egg hatched this week.  On Wednesday morning, three small eggs were visible deep in the mossy nest when suddenly one moved.  A tiny, tiny beak opened and two pinhead-sized eyes glowed in the camera light.  The eggs and chick are so deep in the nest it’s difficult to tell exactly how many eggs there are or how many chicks have hatched. 

            Mrs. Titmouse leaves the nest for short periods of time to hunt, get a drink, or just get out of the box.  It must have been hot in there with the temperature reaching 80s and even 90 one day.  Mr. Titmouse flies in to feed her and the chick, who stretches his neck out and opens his beak wide.  Titmice typically lay a clutch of five to six lightly speckled eggs.  The incubation period lasts 12-14 days and chicks fledge 15-16 days after hatching. 

            Storms late Friday and Saturday morning brought much cooler weather and sunny, windy days.  So clear, so cool, so fresh. 

Christine Baleshta


One Comment

  1. traffic people May 10, 2019 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Partridges fortify their retreat with thorn and bush in such a way as to be completely entrenched against wild animals; they heap a soft covering of dust on their eggs. and they do not sit on them at the place where they laid them but remove them somewhere else, l 8 est thei f8 r frequently resorting there should cause somebody to suspect it. Hen partridges in fact deceive even their own mates, because these in the intemperance of their lust break the hens’ eggs so that they may not be kept away by sitting on them; and then the cocks owing to their desire for the hens fight duels with each other; it is said that the one who loses has to accept the advances of the victor. Trogus indeed says this also occurs occasionally with quails and farmyard cocks, but that wild partridges are promiscuously covered by tame ones, and also new-corners or cocks that have been beaten in a fight. They are also captured owing to the fighting instinct caused by the same lust, as the leader of the whole flock sallies out to battle against the fowler’s decoy, and when he has been caught number two advances, and so on one after another in succession. Again about breeding time the hens are caught when they sally out against the fowlers’ hen to hustle and drive her away. And in no other creature is concupiscence so active. If the hens stand facing the cocks they become pregnant by the afflatus that passes out from them, while if they open their beaks and put out their tongue at that time they are sexually excited. Even the draught of air from cocks flying over them, and often merely the sound of a cock crowing, makes them conceive. And even their affection for their brood is so conquered by desire that when a hen is quietly sitting on her eggs in hiding, if she becomes aware of a fowler’s decoy hen approaching her cock she chirps him back to her and recalls him and voluntarily offers herself to his desire. Indeed they are subject to such madness that often with a blind swoop they perch on the fowler’s head. If he starts to go towards a nest, the mother bird runs forward to his feet, pretending to be tired or lame, and in the middle of a run or a short flight suddenly falls as if with a broken wing or damaged feet, and then runs forward again, continually escaping him just as he is going to catch her and cheating his hope, until she leads him away in a different direction from the nests. On the other hand if the hen thus scared is free and not possessed with motherly anxiety she lies on her back in a furrow and catches hold of a clod of earth with her claws and covers herself with it.

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