Archive for April, 2015

Three Trilliums

Trilliums all share the same characteristics.

IMG_9311

They have three leaves,

IMG_9311   crop

and three sepals that protect the flower while it’s still in the bud.

IMG_9410 crop

Nodding white trillium (Trillium flexipes) has six stamens (with the pollen) with the pistil in the center.

IMG_9238

Purple trillium (Trillium recurvatum)

IMG_9221

Yellow trillium (Trillium luteum). This one was a gift from a friend a few years ago. I’ve never seen them growing naturally in southern Illinois.

A Honeybee

IMG_9347 crop

A lone honeybee stayed busy gathering pollen in the black ash tree in our backyard.

IMG_9348 crop

It was obvious from the size of its pollen sacs that it was finding plenty to take back to the hive. I wonder how much pollen the sacs can actually hold?

IMG_9358 crop

Ash trees are pollinated by the wind … and maybe with a little help from the honeybee.

A Ladybug

Ladybugs overwinter as adults.

IMG_9397

My first ladybug of the year just happened to be on a purple trillium in my spring wildflower garden.

IMG_9397 crop 2

It must be either the pine or the hackberry tree that’s dropping all the pollen.

———–

IMG_7230 red

Ladybugs overwinter as adults. Here’s a picture I took March of 2012 in the bluff at Stone Face. This definitely wasn’t anywhere near all of them!

March “Snow”

IMG_9263 red

I don’t mind “snow” in March if it’s snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis).

IMG_9247

 Their clump, with all the white, make them the most obvious flower in the yard. (I’m ignoring the dandelions.)

IMG_9249

 The clump grows among purple violets, dandelions and gill-over-the-ground.

IMG_9269 crop

Snowdrops and their bulbs are poisonous to humans and can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Fingers Crossed

Today is Thursday, April 16. Last weekend had such nice weather, every neighbor was out mowing their yard, including us.

IMG_8761

My last pictures of the foxes were taken Friday, April 10. I can’t see them going nocturnal with 6 kits running around.

IMG_9106

I thought if we all crossed our fingers and asked politely that, maybe, the foxes would return.

———–

DARN!

I looked out after supper and saw …

IMG_9327

This groundhog sure didn’t waste any time moving in. Buffy knows it’s here and it knows Buffy’s here.

I’m still crossing my fingers for the foxes’ return.

Carpenter Bees

Buffy and I walked a loop around the yard before we went inside. The sun was near setting.

IMG_9173

Carpenter bees were busy. I wasn’t sure if were looking for something or doing it.

The barn was built when the original house was here. We’ve lived here forty-plus years, and it was old when we bought the house.

IMG_9162 crop

Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees. Both are about the same size. Carpenter bees build their nest in wood, and bumblebees nest underground. Male carpenter bees have a whitish spot on the front of their face, which wasn’t evident in the evening light.

IMG_9164 crop

Carpenter bees are not social insects. They construct their nests in trees or in eaves of a house by drilling in the wood. These are the adults emerging from the nests. They overwintered in tunnels as adults.

IMG_9185

 The barn sure has a lot of character. Besides the foxes living under it, a pair of eastern phoebe flycatchers nest in it too.

Unexplained Sparkling Mystery

We had strong storms in the evening and overnight on April 3.

IMG_8830

The sun shone the next morning. I sat at the computer, beside the picture window. A faint breeze “sparkled” the over-abundance of water drops in the hackberry and sweet gum trees. It gave the trees a crystalline look.

  One drop repeatedly sparkled red, like it was winking at me. A few drops also reflected red, only they were smaller and not as obvious.

  The red drop remained “drop size” when I took the picture.

IMG_8830 crop

I just don’t understand how a teeny drop of water, reflecting the sunlight, could transform into this in a picture?

It never looked like this when I was watching it.

Maybe drops in the molecular structure of the water enlarged themselves for the picture?

Why?

—————-

Another interesting component to this storm happened during the night. I was sleeping soundly when suddenly — blinding light, loud thunder boomed. I opened my eyes at the exact time of the lightning …. and saw a ball of lightning. I’d never even heard of a ball of lightning. It filled about one fourth or so of the top window, and thin lightning streaks went out in all directions from it. I was amazed, excited and went right back to sleep.