Last summer at a routine medical checkup, the doctor asked if I was sleeping well in the mornings.

“Well, we sleep with some windows open.  The birds often wake me up.”

“Oh yes,” replied the doctor.  “They can be noisy, can’t they?”

And my reply:  “Oh, it’s not really that.  I’ll be sleeping sound, don’t you know, and suddenly I’ll be sitting upright in bed with a sharp intake of breath:  ‘OHHH!!!  It’s a yellow-billed cuckoo, we have a yellow-billed cuckoo at our house!!  I didn’t even know we had one of those!'”

The penalties (and rewards) of learning bird song.

On Tuesday we went on another naturalist-guided walk.  We identified 37 different wildflowers in bloom at the Wildflower Reserve at Raccoon Creek State Park.  And again I added two birds to my Life List:  the Blue-winged Warbler and the Yellow-throated Warbler.

Blue-winged Warbler

The Virginia Bluebells are now fading away from blue to white.

But Jack-in-the-Pulpit is looking fantastic.  See him in there?  We learned that if you gently squeeze the flower, you can hear Jack squeak.

We also saw 4 or 5 kinds of Trillium (if you count the hybrid).

Here’s a Snowberry Clearwing moth.  He looks like a bumblebee, but isn’t.

If you ever get a chance to visit a Great Blue Heron rookery, please do–before the leaves come out on the trees.  We saw 40-50 nests here, with parents coming and going.  Truly an amazing thing to see (and hear).