Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

Finally … a Towhee

 It’s amazing how a rufous-sided towhee can loudly sing its song or repeat its call note and not be located.

It took several days to locate the towhee that called from various places in our yard.  They have a knack for concealment, even when in the open.

IMG_8181 crop red

I accidentially ended up in the right place at the right time to locate the male while he repeated his  “Drink your teeeeee” (wavering the “tea.”)

IMG_8175 crop red

His call note was a sharp whistled “wheep.”

Rufous-sided towhee’s breeding range covers over half the U.S. and Canada. Southern Illinois is in its winter range.  The female is dark brown where the male is black. They scratch for nuts, seeds and fruits to feed on, plus some insects.

Late-Season Milkweed

This butterflyweed didn’t grow or bloom as normal last summer, because of the severe drought and heat.

This clump of flowers bloomed early in September, instead of early June.

The pods started releasing their seeds the end of October.

 Wind has dispersed their seeds.

These milkweed bugs remained on the pods as they were maturing and drying. The white spots are from sap oozing from the pods where the bugs sucked the sap.

This picture shows 3 different sizes of their incomplete metamorphosis. The adults stay and protect the young. They have 5 instars and each molt lasts 5-6 days.

No Wonder …

No wonder goldenrods are so prolific. Look at all those seeds!

An inch-and-a-half inflorescence had 21 seedheads. The one above is longer than the one I dissected. Each seedhead had 15 or so seeds! The beige seeds were tinier than tiny. The word miniscule came to mind.

This picture shows the stalks of 2 goldenrod plants. I can’t even imagine how many seeds would be on these 2 plants. Wind will disperse them.

Fluff Fallout

The appearance of the thistles have changed considerably since earlier in the season.

They went from an insect/spider magnet to

fluffy “balls.”

Notice the yellow seed in the middle. and how many seeds have already dropped from their means of transportation.

Fluff (down) has been dropping for quite a while now. It piles. It rains and it gets matted down somewhat. Then more continues to fall.

The wind kept these moving while I took pictures. Obviously, the downy structure creates a tangle, and most of the seeds have already dropped.

  American goldfinches don’t begin nesting until summer when the earlier thistles are past bloom. They line their nests with the thistle’s down.

Saying Farewell

I’m saying farewell to my garlic chives (Allium tuberosum). It only grows now in the back of my moon garden.

Years ago it grew beside the common chives in the herb garden I used to have. It grew in the corner of the buttterfly garden just across from the moon garden. I could sit between the 2 gardens and see the whites “glow” in the moonlight.

I liked them because they were white, bloomed later in the season, and attracted butterflies and other insects. Gray hairstreak butterflies visited often. Our insect numbers have been low this summer, and I assume it’s because of the drought.

The reason I’m saying farewell is that the garlic chives spread and are difficult to dig out. I always forget to cut off the seed heads before they drop their seeds. The above picture shows the different stages of flower/seed development in one flower head.

Besides, I’d rather be out enjoying nature, than spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking.

Perfect Day

Christmas fern fiddleheads

Virginia bluebells

Moss and lichens on tree bark

Sweet William

Ants hatching

View to the "mountains"

Redbud flowers and honeybee. Notice full pollen sac on bee's leg.

Daisy fleabane

Wild geranium

Pine about to bloom

Dandelion seeed head

Violet

Red galls on maple leaves

Maple leaves emerging

American toad

Lilac

What a perfect day!

Every day’s a perfect day.

Every day is just the way it’s meant to be.