Nature can be as cruel as it is beautiful. This week we saw the budding of many gorgeous forest flowers, and signs of new life everywhere, including fawns and fledgling birds venturing from the nest and taking flight for the first time. A Woodcock was flushed up near the marsh, and we spotted our first American Bittern. We also saw the aftermath of a Snapping Turtle egg massacre. This one hit hard because we saw the old momma walk from the lake, pick out her spot, dig the hole, lay her eggs and sit in exhaustion for hours. The next day, the hole had been dug up and egg shells were scattered everywhere. A sad ending. A fledgling Robin was found on the ground beneath its nest. We don’t know if it fell out, or failed its flying test. Either way, its chances of survival were slim. There are lots of hungry predators in the nearby woods looking for an easy meal. Other notes include the fact there are two eggs on the Loon nest, but they have not yet hatched (or not that we have seen). We have also noted an unusual absence of waterfowl on Long Lake. The Canada Geese that had their chicks have not been seen since. In fact, we have not seen any of our usual collection of Mallards, Mergansers, Wood Ducks or Bufflehead. Curious. Instead of focusing on the cruel side of nature, we instead will highlight its stunning beauty. Enjoy the pictures. Summer is here, the days are long and it’s a great time to unplug, get outside and live connected.