Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Another first day of school, weird wells, birds and fruit

Did anyone notice my absence? I was out late last night doing a program. And guess what?
I sounded like I knew what I was talking about, they asked intelligent questions (They were all birders) and I gave intelligent answers. I just may be able to do this!
What you missed the last two days:

Lorelei's first day of school was Tuesday. She was teary and clingy, but I checked in on her later, and all was well. And speaking of wells:
Today, my car overheated AGAIN and didn't cool off when I got on the interstate like it usually does (we have been procrastinating) so we took it in to the mechanic and rented a car, because I have a program early in the morning and the girls have to go to school. I will take a photo of it in the's a '07! After getting the car we went to the Nature Center. This is, yet again, eerie proof that this land was lived on once upon a time. The well is filled in, thank goodness, so curious little girls can't fall in.
Okay, Mistress Gardener...what is this? It is growing wild in huge patches in front of the Krippendorf Lodge, where the "lawn" used to be, presumably. There are no visible leaves and they seem to do well in the shade of the forest. The ones that are closed resemble mini tulips but they open fully and look very un-tulip like..
Last night, as I gathered birds for my program, I met Junior again. History of Junior: He was brought in as a rehab bird, was fixed up and released at RAPTOR, Inc. Since then, he has hung around and is seen regularly. But last night, he was sitting atop the gate I needed to go through and the gate I would be bringing birds out of. I didn't know what he would do, frankly. He made what sounded like begging noises, and actually HOOTED at me. It's a bit early for nesting, so I don't think that he assumed I was a large female owl he wanted to get with. I didn't want him to land on my head or something crazy like that, so I had to resort to waving a stick at him until he flew off to another perch. He came back as I tried to leave with Lucy, so I had to give him a little poke in the rear with the stick again from below.
He was there when I brought the birds back after the program, but instead of sitting on the gate, he paraded back and forth in the glow of my headlights in the driveway. It was like he was saying, "Look at me! I'm such a handsome bird!" What a goof.
On our walk tonight, we found these weird fruits. They sort of resemble pears, but it didn't look like a pear tree. Pawpaws, maybe? I've never seen them still on the tree, just smashed along the road. I really need to study trees.


LauraHinNJ said...

I love the owl pic and story!

The rehab place where I volunteer has a few birds that hang around like that - mostly turkey vultures, I think.

Those flowers look like crocuses, but that can't be right!

Need more time and sleep. I'll get back to you on that and the funny pear fruit. Why not taste one?


Glad the first day of school wasn't too traumatic.

Dave said...

I knew you would do better than the last formal presentation. You do rock! It's great when you can do a successful presentation, especially in front of birders.

We have a lot of magpie's that hang around, mainly to steal food from the birds in the outside mews. We never release a bird at the clinic and seldom in Anchorage.

Can you remember your first day of school?

Anonymous said...

Those flowers are from bulbs called fall crocuses, or Meadow Saffron, or their real name -- Colchicums. They leaf out in the spring with the other bulbs, gather energy from their leaves, and then the leaves die back during the summer. In the fall the flowers bloom. A friend gave me some that I planted by my front door and they are a happy way to greet the cooler mornings.

The Wayside Gardens catalog says, "Cultivated for nearly 400 years, it has been used as a remedy for gout and, in plant breeding, as a means of inducing bulb tisssue culture."

They are beautiful.

Wayne, PA

NatureWoman said...

Yup, I missed you posting! I'm glad you rocked at your presentation - yay!!! Cool well and fall crocus! I feel for Lorelei - I hated pre-school - but glad to hear she was fine later!

jemkagily said...

Some people call the Colchicums "naked ladies" for the way they bloom with no surrounding leaves...woo woo!

And those fruits really do look like pawpaws, but I'd double check with somebody before tasting one. If they are pawpaws, they are a host plant for a beautiful swallowtail butterfly. And they are a *native*, not introduced species!

Nancy said...

Will you take me with you to the Nature Center sometime, I've never been there??

Susan Gets Native said...

Nanners, you are welcome to come along anytime! But why haven't you been there? It's like right around the corner from you. Unexcusable. We will get you there, don't worry.

MojoMan said...

That's a cool story about Junior. Kind of eerie. He's a great horned, right? (I've never seen very many owls.) How long did Raptor have him before he was let go?

I don't know much about naked ladies, either, but is that poison ivy I see in that photo? Be careful out there!

Congratulations on another great program!

Susan Gets Native said...

Al: I'm not sure how long Junior was rehabbed, but you can read a little here:
(Sorry I don't know how to add hyperlinks to comments yet)
I don't think that was poison least I HOPE not. It was right off the path, so I hope that the center controls the PI!
And yes, he is a great horned owl.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for the gentle reminder, Susan.

Tomorrow, I promise! Have to dig out my cheat sheet first.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Colchicum and pawpaws, but good ol' Wendi beat me to it. Don't think the pawpaws are quite ripe, though; wait until they're soft and yellow. Try them--they're delicious. Pretend they're peach crisp.

Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks for all the ID's, guys. I looked up the fruit at and found them to be pawpaws. They look good..but not as good as Julie's peach crisp!