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Snakes in a Polyhouse! (thanks to Josh Volk)

Yesterday I received a call from my friend Josh Volk, who normally farms in Portland but is on a self described busman’s holiday in California visiting and  –  I presume – working on organic farms. During the course of the call he let it slip that he was enjoying – no I think his exact words were “basking in” – the first sunshine of his rainy trip. I jokingly requested that he send some sunshine or at least dry weather our way. Well apparently Josh  has some pull with the Big Guy. Because less that 24 hours later, the clouds parted over little Pender Island and out came the sun. Thank you Josh! Keep ‘er coming!!

Thanks to Josh and his gift of sunshine we caught a glimpse of the first Thamnophis ordinoides (Northwestern Garter Snake) of the season in one of the polyhouses this afternoon – another one of our local tell-tale signs of spring.

Thamnophis ordinoides (Northwestern Garter Snake).

More Signs of Spring

Today was of day of sun and cloud and the occasional droplet. But what was most notable – to me at least – was the appearance of long awaited birds and bees – ok a bee.

The arrival of Cathartes aura (the turkey vulture) is one of the signs of spring on Pender Island.

As is the Bombus ternarius (orange-belted bumblebee) foraging in the flowering Lamium purpureum (purple dead-nettle).

Signs of Spring – 1st Day of Spring on the Farm

A welcome event at Hope Bay. We hope (and pray) that the new season will be a little drier and warmer than it has been in the recent past.

Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian-plum) in flower.

Prunus domestica subsp. insititia (Damson plum) with buds bursting.

The Goose Girl of Hope Bay

Goose Girl

Here’s Everest clutching a recent visitor to the farm. The goose was found close by on the road – apparently suffering from fatigue. We let her (him?) rest up for a while in the back of the farm truck before releasing him (her?) into the bay.

Snowberry Clearwing

Today Everest and I found a very cool moth in one of our polyhouses. Its’s a snowberry clearwing (Hemaris diffinis), one of the hummingbird-type of moths. Native to BC but not often seen – probably because it is often mistaken for a bumblebee. I had seen one feeding on our lilac a few days earlier. It was cool to be able to see one so close up.