When I looked out of my screened porch to the side yard, I though it seemed unnaturally sunny. Then I realized that the beaver had climbed halfway to the front yard over at least a dozen terraces to decimate the native Sweet Shrub, a Weigelia, and the Annabell Hydrangea. Lower down he got my heirloom Oakleaf Hydrangea with its fading rosy blooms. He knocked over several pots dragging his prizes away.
The Beaver's mayhem has been confined to the back yard, so this is a new tactic. The area around the lake is brimming with tasty trees but I guess he might be looking for some variety. It's still pretty bold, though. I'm really sad to lose these beautiful shrubs, but everhything he's mauled before grew back really well. The hollies he stole in the spring have already sprouted new growth. I guess nature's landscaper decided my pruning wasn't up to speed!
My favorite Lily is the elegant Stargazer. Its bold color and sweet fragrance make it a perfect cut flower. Alas, I have to enjoy mine in the yard because Stargazers are extremely toxic to cats. They cause acute kidney failure which could be fatal.
I'm used to seeing turtles in the yard laying their eggs, but never one like this. This turtle is a Spiny Softshell Turtle and even though it's not obvious from the picture, she's big--at least a foot across. We usually stereotype turtles as slow, but when she saw me, this one covered the 20 or 25 feet to the lake in just a few seconds. I've seen her in the yard twice so I guess she's laying her eggs. If her babies are as fast as the Mother, then they won't have any trouble outrunning predators when they hatch!!
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Eagle Cam 2014 This camera streams the activities of the eagle nest located 110 feet up, in a tree on the grounds of the US FWS National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.