Henderson Feathers Report 6/14/23

Submitted by Art and Barb Straub

Purrrrrrrrrrrr…preep………purrrrrrrrrrr. The sound rising from the surface of a quiet spring pond goes on endlessly as a male toad attempts to lure a female into his end of the waterway. Dependent upon warmth of the water where the warty suitor lies, an unexpecting listener may be unaware of the earnest pleas of Sir Male. More than a mile away, the hugest female toad we’ve ever observed attempted to make her way through the wind-swept grass. What to do? A human in his tidiness wishes to mow weeds from and about the flower beds. The toad wishes to find water, however, there’s been no precipitation for weeks. In order for the egg-swollen beauty to reach the nearest little pond, she must traverse a gritty gravel road; or a deep ravine; a huge plowed field; and a large prairie. Then one thinks of hundreds of tiny egg sacs inside the beautiful creature which will never reach fruition in a world whence amphibians and reptile numbers are dropping precipitously.
Should the toad be in another county, the decision would be easy, leave fate to weave its course. We would not transfer between environs.

In this case, carefully placing the swollen body into a mode of transportation and swiftly delivering her to a nearby chosen body of water a mile hence, the beast appeared to be happy and healthy in her new abode. (See photo.) During much of mid-May, not a single tree frog was heard drifting from the wild plum blossoms; nor the wood frogs rejoicing from prairie ponds. We fear that those two species will take years to re-new their numbers back to pre-drought numbers.

Many white-tailed deer endured the long life-withering winter of 2022/23, some in wretched condition. From observations taken on June 12th, four sets of doe/fawns were observed between Henderson/LeSueur, dashing gleefully across country roads. Has anyone observed TWIN fawns? On another hoof, If one spots a gray, skinny, mangy-appearing doe with a fawn, the fawn will often appear to be on its final legs and may perish shortly after birth. The best appearing fawns one is currently seeing are those whose moms trimmed the hedges and ornamentals for folks living in towns and cities the winter of 2022/2023. Having been feasted and fed, the wise deer will stick around, dropping their cute little fawns in back yards and among bushes. Wise does know a good thing when they taste it, but oh, the pests they may become. Unwise homeowners will pander to the deer.

Short shots: Sylvia and Sylvan Trumpeter swans are infrequently discovered on the Coachlight Ponds. It has become increasing apparent they will not re-nest following the inundation of their nests/eggs by the flood of 2023. Monarch butterflies are laying their wee eggs on milkweed plants. We discovered five larvae on the shore of Bucks’ Lake June 12th! To, monarchs, GO!!!!