There are few neighbors on the pond as we move into September. The Mallard hens are always a surprise as they bring their broods onto the water late in the Summer. The coots? I like coots. They are so generally incompetent, that each year when they appear with three, or even four little coots it seems a great success.
See, the coot isn’t related to the ducks. They have what is termed a “frontal shield” – a featherless callous running from forehead to beak . . . and the aspect of a coot that shows up in 1430 according to the Oxford dictionary, in the descriptive phrase “bald as a coot.” The old bald-headed coots got the term from the bird, not the other way around.
In the garden, the problem is the bald-faced hornets. We’ve planted a row of blackberries, and the berries are ripening. The problem is that the bald-faced hornets are eating the berries before we can pick them . . . and they’re aggressive about protecting the berries. Next year, the traps will be going out early. Pest control can be a challenge.
Penn State Extension has a publication on the bald-faced hornet.
As Fall comes in, our residents fly south – but the bald-faced hornets seem to have no such inclination.