Found a big healthy looking POLISTES QUEEN walking around in the downstairs hall. I picked her up with two drinking glasses and put her outdoors in the sun. She crawled around for a few minutes then flew off. While I was watching her, I noticed two firefly-type beetles crawling around on the top of the wood box out front. 59 degrees at 9:20 a.m.: MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY. Wings have raggedy cream color edges, blue dots, rich brown. Large brown body with long brown hairs. Long brown hairs on inner edges of wings too. Inch-long antennae with white dots at tips, enlarged at tips. Perched in full sunshine, also exposed to the wind, which makes the wings flutter. When it first lands it pumps its wings. The mourning cloaks were right where Bob said they would be, hanging around the huge ash tree and the fencerow that intersects Spear Memorial Highway. They blend in with the leaf litter on the forest floor. One looks a little like a leaf blowing in the wind. When I was looking down to write, it disappeared. I saw at least three when I arrived, but they’ve all disappeared now. I followed the fencerow uphill until I lost it. In the distance I spotted the big beech that the porcupine had worked over. Approaching it from below, I saw it was a den tree — entrance at ground level, droppings flowing out as if they were spilling from the tree. Droppings look like the same material horses drop. They’re shaped kind of like big kidney beans, some elongated. Can’t tell how recently the den has been occupied. One of the spots where the haircap moss grows so abundantly is still covered with snow. It’s a dark, cool open spot. I’m sitting in my meadow looking up at Camel’s Hump. It’s a beautiful clear day. Strong fresh wind. I could be happy here. Later I saw a sparrow in the tree outside the kitchen window and on the ground. It had a streaked breast — white field with dots. I didn’t notice whether it had a large central dot. Brown line through the eye, gray above eye, brown on top of head, back streaked brown, tail long and thin.

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