Archive for April, 2014

No Explanation

I haven’t come to a conclusion on what I saw yesterday morning.

It all was quite a surprise!

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Most of the dandelion flowers were short, because they were below the mower blades when my husband mowed over the weekend.

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If you look close, you’ll see stalks that grew after they were mowed.

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Dandelion seed heads remained intact on the mowed side of the weed patch.

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How did this seed head end up intact and a foot-and-a-half high in a dried aster plant?

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This green stink bug probably spent the night there.

Pear Tree Remants

A strong wind blew all night and all day.

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I had just picked up all the fallen branches out of this dead pear tree yesterday. Today’s wind broke off  branches, limbs and even one of the trunks.

This tree was one of my favorites because of all the butterflies the rotting pears attracted.

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Lichens growing on the tree attract my attention now. I decided to just enjoy and not try to identify them.

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The pears rotting and their attracting butterflies was one of the highlights of summer. All the butterflies above are hackberry butterflies, except the top one which is a question mark.

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Red spotted purple on the left and a viceroy on the right. Viceroys have an extra black band on their hindwing that the monarch lacks.

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Common buckeye

The pears also attracted bees, wasps, night flying moths and ants to name a few.

So, obviously, I miss the pear tree being alive.

Now that I’m starting to learn lichens, I hope the tree stands for many more years.

A One-Time Encounter

Jaxson ( my 6-year-old grandson) and I were going through an insect sticker book. He moved the insects around into various habitats. This reminded me of a funny and unusual encounter with a walking stick.

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This walking stick was on the side of our house September of 2010, and is the only picture that I have of one.

Many years ago I sat in the woods, drawing for a painting I planned to do. I moved and startled a walking stick. It rolled over on its back, legs curved upward, and was still in that position when I left.

It played dead the whole time!

Witches’ Butter

One reason I like mushrooms is their descriptive names,

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like this Witches’ butter (Tremella mensenterica).

This small jelly-like fungus grew on a stick that fell out of the dead pear tree in our yard.

Purple Trillium

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Purple trilliums bloom in two clumps in my spring wildflower garden.

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Each plant has three leaves.

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Each flower has 3 petals.

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The scientific name trillium recurvatum refers to the 3 recurved green sepals.

Six anthers crowd around the pistil.

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“Aaaaaah … spring.”

Earthstar Mushroom

It’s been years and years since I’ve seen an earthstar mushroom.

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I’m not sure which species of earthstar this one is. Not knowing in no way diminishes my enjoyment of the find.

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  Obviously, the earthstar would’ve probably gone unnoticed if I hadn’t walked straight up to it.

A Crawdad From the Past

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In the over thirty years of hiking at my rural property,

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I’ve only seen one crawdad there.

Water only runs at this higher elevation during the wet times.

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It sure made a “fashion statement” with all those colors.

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I wondered where it went during the long dry spells.

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We have crawdads in the lower part of our backyard.

I’ve never seen one … except for the feeler of one. We’d had a hard rain that filled the crawdad holes.  I walked around the yard and stopped at a small mound. There, was a feeler at the surface pushing a small piece of plant material back and forth. Obviously, the crawdad was easily amused.