If you've signed up to be a part of this group, thanks for tuning in (and if you feel like you're enthusiastic enough that you want to pitch out regular diaries of your own for this group, don't hesitate to send me a message).
Based on some of the responses to yesterday's first diary, I have a few ideas about regular features for this group.
Insect Observations -- whether it's carpenter bees starting their annual assault on your house (which seems to happen at my place any time the temperature floats above freezing for more than a few days), interesting ants streaming across your driveway (or countertop), or butterflies in your garden, join in with your observations of our six-legged friends. Hey, bring pictures!
Flat Biology -- a record of things seen, uh... in a less than natural state after unfortunate encounters with moving vehicles. Does that sound gross? Creepy? Well, there's nothing pleasant about a deer that's had a high speed meeting with a Volvo (just ask the Volvo driver), but noting these unfortunate deaths is sometimes the best way to measure the presence and population levels of the critters that are sharing our neighborhoods.
The Daily Bucket -- a generic container for pitching in your daily observations. Is there something new sprouting on the hill? A funny lizard spotted on the garden wall? An unsual bird at the feeder? Drop it in the bucket. Give a date and a place in the same message if it all possible, to make the post as valuable as it can be for those trying to dig out the data. And hey, if someone wants to posit a proposed "I saw this..." format, I'd love to see it.
OK. That's a start, but just a start. We'll come up with more ideas to break up the monotony and generate talk. Some of these ideas will undoubtedly overlap with other groups (like the birds & bird watching group, which I leaped to follow as soon as it was created). But the intent is is to supplement, not replace those groups.
If you can't tell, I'm very excited about this idea. People who don't want to read about interesting beetles encountered on a hike or how many bats flew over your house at sunset may be somewhat less enthralled, but then those people are beyond redemption in any case.
As far as my morning contributions to the Bucket:
15 Feb 11, Imperial, MO I'm afraid there's not much to say at the moment. A few warm (very warm, actually) days have all but vanquished the snow and left us with brown woods dappled by a few remaining patches of white. In previous years, we've hosted a large group of deer over the winter, but this year the herd has either gone elsewhere or gone to someone's pot (considering that one of my neighbors set up not one but two tree stands on the edge of our property, it could be either). I've seen only a few wanderers over the winter, and none at all in the last couple of weeks. I did spot a Northern Flicker in the woods just after sunrise this morning. I've seen him around several times lately, but this is the first time in a decade I've seen one in our woods. Otherwise, lots of brown and gray out there with no sign of any activity on the floral front.
What's going on at your place?