Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
This Poison Ivy leaf has just filled out and by the way the raindrops are rolling off its surface, it also has the oil present that causes us humans problems.
An oil on the surface of all parts of this plant is what many people are allergic to, and contact with the oil causes the familiar skin irritation. It also causes these water drops to just roll off the leaf.
Poison Ivy's irritant is also anaphylactic to us humans, which means you can touch it every day for 20 years and have no reaction and then touch it another day and have a severe reaction.
So here it is. Each leaf stem has three
leaf-lets. Which is where the rhyme comes from..."leaves of three...leave it be."
Poison Ivy is technically a shrub, and in more southern areas it grows taller and also grows as a large hairy vine covering the trunks of tall trees.
As a boy I learned to avoid climbing those trees, unless there was something very interesting in the top of the tree.
Monday, May 20, 2013
She had a large scaley broodpatch, so she has a nest somewhere in Springbrook.
These vireos will be nesting at Springbrook very soon.
The yellow around and above the eye is very distinctive and identifies this sparrow.
The crest seems to be raised and lowered constantly depending on the bird's mood at the moment.
Here it is raised and down below it is lowered.
This is a male, and the females are very brown and camouflaged. They will be setting up nest sites in Springbrook in the next few weeks.
The band can be seen on the right leg of this Indigo Bunting, as it is about to be released.
This was a rare chance to see these little warblers up close as well as high up in the trees.
This Magnolia Warbler was one of several we caught, banded, and released.
It has only taken nature about a week to catch up now that the long winter has finally let go. There seemed to be lots of insects in the trees where these warblers were feeding
Banding these transient visitors is time consuming since each bird needs data recorded and complicated identification keys are needed to assure accuracy of ID, age and sex.
It is always a great pleasure to see the warblers return in the spring from their winters in Central and South America.
They will only be here for a few days so I plan on seeing as many as possible before they have continued their migration north.
For a few, like this Red Start, their journey may be finished, since some will nest right here in Springbrook.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Compare this picture with the previous post where the leaf is wrapped tightly around the unopened flower.
In the picture below some of the leaves still look a bit tentative, but not the flowers. They know bright warm sun when they see it and feel it. The third picture shows them pointed right at the sun, soaking up all the warmth.
Prairie Smoke flowers have only a small opening for pollinators, forcing them to crawl inside for the nector waiting as in the picture below.
The flower will eventually open up as the seeds extend out in a few weeks giving it the "smoky" look that it's name comes from.
Monday, May 6, 2013
A beak longer than its head is an identifyer for this bird, as well as the very white eye ring.
We caught about 95 birds yesterday, many were migrating warblers and other migrants, including the sandpiper.
We caught several migrating White Throated Sparrows, but one we didn't catch was caught by the Barred Owl, who made a quick breakfast of it, swallowing it whole as can be seen below. Yum!
Friday, May 3, 2013
This unusual May snowstorm is the reason this early spring wildflower is protected in this way.
The more adventurous flower below was ready to open but stayed closed as the snow flakes built up on its petals.
I think the Bloodroot and the rest of us are all ready for more normal spring weather!