Mary Had a Little Lamb, It’s Fleece Was…..

Submitted by Art & Barb Straub

This lamb’s fleece was about the same color as the last melting snow in the Henderson-LeSueur area, far from pure white with immaculate curls. Only with the assistance of a mid-wife and her nurse’s aide is the newborn creature alive! Seems as though this past week, shortly after the sun said “Adieu,” Steve and Mary Nesgoda, hobby farmers living near Pumpkin Hill Road, heard three of their sheep flock creating quite a stir in the barnyard. Since the farm fowl and critters were settled for the night, Steve checked on the baaing bedlam and discovered that three adult sheep were attempting to get his attention. Seems that an expectant ewe was in labor, and the going was rough. The lamb appeared either to be afraid to enter this unsettled world, or it was stuck along the way. The latter was true, ‘stuck.’

Steve, calling upon his wife of many talents, Mary, and aided with flashlight and nimble fingers, the lamb was brought forth into the light, leaving an exhausted ewe and panting lamb to enjoy their nest of alfalfa. Mary had always yearned to be a midwife, now her wish came true…in an unexpected fashion. The Nesgodas always welcome visitors to their ever-expanding menagerie of fowl and fauna, including the new lambkin, who will be named Covey, (covid 19) as he was unable to maintain social distancing when he was born..

Come April, many folks encounter male members of bird species attacking their windows and so they seek advice as to how to counter the behavior. Being awakened at 5:00 a.m. by a steady drumbeat on one’s windows is not conducive to love of birds. Some of the crashes are accidental…a hawk disturbing small feeding birds will send the frightened feathered friend into a headlong plunge, often resulting in death. Judy and Joe Luskey of rural Green Isle experienced a migrating thrush ending its earthly life with a noisy ‘whack’ on their picture window last week. A flock of the beautiful birds was passing through, stopped for lunch at the Luskey’s, and one stayed permanently, missed its meal besides.

However, when that bird is a male turkey picking a fight with another gobbler, and attacking its own silhouette, the tale can be bloody. The story is a year old, but Bryant Straub and Julie Fried were startled one morning by a very loud crash at their basement window adjacent to East Henderson Station Road. Seems that two of the handsome feathered fiends picked a fight with a third imaginary gobbler in the window, and when the fray was finished, both panes of glass had been shattered. That takes a lot of brass knuckles, or in this case, sturdy sharp spurs.

Mark this date down…April 23. Sylvia, female of the Trumpeter swan duo on south Coachlight Pond, began spending as much time on her chosen abode as she and Sylvan, the male, ducked their long graceful necks into the shallow murky Coachlight waters devouring roots and tubers. Perhaps Sylvia has laid her first of 4 – 6 eggs already, the eggs will take anywhere from 33 to 37 days of incubation time. Regular swan watchers will remember the river valley experienced about five floods during the summer of 2019, viewers thought the swans were wiped out, yet five cygnets emerged near July 1st. Betwixt now and then, enemies from air and waters could take their toll. Surely the axiom is true with swans, “Don’t count your swans before they hatch!”

The swans had visitors this past week, a beautiful pair of Pied-billed grebes spent their honeymoon on the Coachlight, and photographer extraordinaire Bruce Bjork scored a great photo. In that these grebes are so shy, they may spend the summer on the Coachlight without our glimpsing them again. Congratulations, Bruce.
In between times, Harris’s, fox and white throated sparrows, tree swallows, many species of warblers plus flycatchers, entered the Henderson/LeSueur area on their way northward. Don’t be surprised to hear and see northern orioles, indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers, and members of the Yellowleg families this week. With a little luck, ruby-throated hummingbirds will be among next week’s observations. With herds of folks with free time out-of-doors, a flock of fresh reports should fly in!