Throughout May & June Nature goes into labor. Fawns are born in meadows and wood lots. They are born the size of large rabbits and basically stay motionless the first couple of days with no scent. Coyotes will walk only a few feet from a fawn without picking up its scent. After about a week, fawns start to follow mom. At this point their legs are strong and fast enough to outrun most predators. If there is plenty of food and cover, does will have twins. In areas where there is an over population of deer or in mountain areas where food is scarce, does will have only one offspring.
Turtles are making their way out of the swamp to bury a clutch of eggs. Snapping turtles are most noticeable. Many tend to cross roads and driveways to reach a comfortable nesting site. I’ve seen many turtles crossingRiver Road,Dodge Road, andWest Dover Roadanswering nature’s call. Please yield to their slow crossing.
Ducks, swan, and geese are leading their clutch across ponds, lakes, and swamps. Their diet of aquatic vegetation can be found growing in most waterways this time of year. The turkey hatch has begun as I saw my first clutch about a week ago. MommaTurkeywill get her clutch up in the trees as soon as possible; it’s safer up there at night.Turkeysare bug and seed eaters. Their young will triple in size over the next month.
June is a grass month. Grasses and hay are growing an inch a day. Mowing the lawn once a week does not seem to be enough. Mowing the lawn high, 3 inches or higher, is healthier for the lawn. This height will keep the ground leaf weeds at bay and tall grass will shade the soil and keep it moist. Leave clippings on the lawn as they add much needed nitrogen to the soil as they decompose. Wait until the end of the month to hay the meadow, as wildlife is feeding on the tender green shoots and using the high grass for cover and nesting.
June smells great. The warm winter weather has lead to some colorful late spring flowers. Iris look great, and roses look better. The rhododendron flower lasted a bit longer this spring because of the cool rain. In general. most trees and shrubs look good, are healthy, and are providing beautiful flowers thanks to our milder than normal winter.
June is still a good time to plant. Finish planting the vegetable garden and add a few native edibles to the landscape. Along hedgerows my first choice would be the Red Raspberry. This kane will spread into the forest glen in a few years. As a ground cover, try a few varieties of strawberry. They are a lot more fun than myrtle and will spread quickly. Beac plum is another native I would plant in the shrub border. It’s a slow growing plant that reaches six feet tall. This shrub has a beautiful spring flower and is covered with fruit in the fall. This native plum prefers light well drained soil and will not grow in heavy soils.
Blueberry shrubs can be planted in most any acidic soil. I’ve seen it grow on the edge of a swamp and on rocky hill tops. Blueberries come in two sizes. The standard size will grow 6ft to 8ft tall and low bush varieties stay short and make a tasty ground cover.
Grapes are native vines that will produce fruit in early fall for us as well as wildlife. Easy to grow and train, grapes can be grown on an arbor or terrace. They are easy to prune and maintain and will fruit for years if properly maintained.
Pete and the Natives