Today's highlights were all yellow - except the first one wasn't as yellow as we'd hoped. The turtles we spottted during the "Turtle Tally" (attended by a few adults and several teens) at the ponds of the proposed Ottawa Urban Turtle Sanctuary were not "Species at Risk" Blandings Turtles, but the more common Painted Turtles. Although it was a sunny day, the wind discouraged more turtles from emerging on the many logs to bask. The Painted Turtles do not have bright yellow throats like Blandings Turtles, but they do have nice yellow plastrons.
The second yellow thing was a Cepaea snail, under an old rotting railroad tie beside the unused portion of tracks near the Airport Parkway (GPS location to come) found by one of the Turtle Tallyers. It is surprising in its unbandedness, and one Cepaea snail that Fred found, by the North Pond, about 200 metres away from mine and on the other side of the tracks, was also unbanded.
In the woods on both sides of the North Pond, Trout Lilies were blooming, very sparsely - the only "normal" forest floor herb, except for one Jack in the Pulpit and one Trillium both on the South side. The amazing thing about this forest floor, beneath second growth Sugar Maples, was the uneven lightness of the dry leaf litter. Mossy patches of soil, and even open soil, were very much in evidence, showing the work of what must be a massive population of Earthworms. This photo was taken for Fred to send to a newspaper reporter who is interested in the phenomenon.
The last yellow thing was a Dandelion - the early Taraxicum palustre in a field beside my framer & printer's place in Carlsbad Springs... acompanied by a large female Green Frog, unusually terrestrial as she hopped her way over landscape that must have felt very prickly for an aquatic frog, toward the flowing drainage ditch across the road. We wondered how far she had come across hundreds of metres of flat hayfields to the north - or whether she'd just made an excursion from the nearby ditch and was on her way back.