Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wee Beasties.

OK. The dog and I are the both of us doing what we can to acclimate our house finches to our porchliness. Most of the nesting situation took place during the 40 degrees and raining, and I grant you, hardier souls would have porched it then, too, but somehow, this past weekend, we weren't those souls. This morning, in the sun and sixties, though, we are. Quite. How it goes with the finches: she sits on the nest and screams until he comes back with the food. This is a remnant of mating behavior, apparently, as discussed here. Additional fascinating house finch tidbits are available for your knowledged pleasure here and here. Our house finches, as are yours, apparently, and everybody else's, are here by way of Mexico via New York.

In Non-Breaking News News, via CNN this morning was this so so marvelous story about the DETOUR project in Philadelphia -- DETOUR stands for Detour for Emerging Toads of Upper Roxborough. While this violates a longstanding ANYLF feeling about acronyms -- namely, that the acronym should not have in it the word that itself is becoming the acronym -- because of what this is, which is, as near as we here at ANYLF can tell, a project wherein roads will be closed for toads, we will allow it. And make small happy noises about it. More wee beasty info here, here and here. From one of the aforelinked articles:

The migration is a mating ritual during which the toads leave the woods around the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and head for the Roxborough Reservoir to find a toad of the opposite sex.

Rainy weather and a series of warm days are their siren song to burrow out from the loose soil where they have spent the winter in dormancy and kick up their heels.

Volunteer toad-spotters are prowling the roads at twilight to alert the toads' protectors to put up city-approved temporary detour signs.

Toads and house finches, people. And coffee and the dog. May we all close our roads when the weather's just right, no?

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