Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm so full of myself right now, I have ME coming out of my ears

I couldn't wait to post tonight. I took some of the most awesome pictures ever today.

I am not thrilled when I see brown-headed cowbirds at the feeders, but they are native, so they have a place here.
And even though I always think of the nest parasitism they engage in, I have to admit they have a subtle beauty. Well, at least the males do. The females are boring.

Male <span class=
Glossy black under chocolate brown.

I think we have a winner in the tree swallow Nest Olympics:
2 little <span class=

I watched the male swoop and drive off every other swallow except for this one. I looked closer, and the other one is less irridescent, so it must be a female, for him to let her sit so close.
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This is a bird to make a person a BIRDER.
Look at that clean white. That glossy black/blue. I so love these guys.
Nellie the Chicken Dog
Nellie finally saw them today. She has known something is up for a few days, but today, when she actually laid eyes on them, she ran for the back door, tail down and eyes half closed. Sissy.

I had to get the girls out of the house today. They have been on Spring Break (They are in preschool, for chrissakes. What do they have to take a break from???) and the blue skies and flowers were beckoning.
Daffodils as far as you can see
The Cincinnati Nature Center, in its best season. There are daffodils as far as the eye can see.
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And the rest of the ground is covered with pert little Celedine. I know nothing of this flower other than it is a member of the buttercup family.
Bullfrog <span class=
The critters are waking up...Dang, this was a huge bullfrog. I showed the girls how his throat was making the water vibrate under his chin.
Daffodils and squirrel behind
The squirrels were up to their butts in foraging for vittles.

A pic I am very proud of:
Chickadee leaving cavity
This chickadee was just flying out of a cavity in a dead tree. I saw him or her fly in, so I waited until I saw the little face peek out. There's something in his/her Sawdust? Anyone wanna guess?

Then, after doing the Susan/Snoopy dance for getting such a cool picture, I saw this duck:
Female wood duck
Ohmigod! A female wood duck!
So, would I be lucky enough to see the male?
Male wood duck
Oh, Hell YEAH. I have seen these before, but have never gotten so close. I was extremely pleased with myself.

And now, a mystery butterfly/moth:
mystery butterfly or moth
There were a few of these precious little guys flying at the edge of the trail. I looked at a zillion butterfly sites, but I can't find this one. I will be very embarrassed if it is a really common, boring butterfly. Anyone know what it is?
Macro magnolia

The magnolias are showing off their feminine blooms...there was a solid wall of magnolias in full bloom at the entrance to the center.

Girls under magnolia
And I got the girls to hug and pose under one of them.
Sweet flowers, vibrating frogs, tiny butterflies, lovey-dovey tree swallows, and secretive wood ducks.
A good day.


Trixie said...

Susan, what a great day! I think I feel the sun on my back. I hope your girls enjoyed it.

And, yeah! WOODDUCK couple! Woohoot!

LostRoses said...

The bullfrog, the chickadee, the wood duck! And that darling shot of your girls! Yes, you got some keepers today!

Anonymous said...

Could that butterfly be a moth? Great pictures!

Wayne, PA

NatureWoman said...

Coooool woodducks!!! I hope to see these in person soon - they're so cool - the males look like they've been specially painted.
And I like the tree swallow - I'll have to look for those.
Ohhh, pretty flowers - can't wait to see the daffodils and magnolia and other blossoms here!
Bullfrogs - yay! Can't wait to see my first one here!
And I love the sweet photo of your beautiful daughters under the magnolia tree. What a keeper photo that is!

Dave said...

Wow, you did have a good day and busy also. Thanks for the nice pic's.

LauraHinNJ said...

Beautiful pics! All very springy.

I vote moth also. The antennae look like feathers, no dot thingy on the end that a butterfly would have. Haven't come up with a name yet though.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I saw your pics on Flickr last night and KNEW it would be a good post. Hurrah! Wood ducks are DEFINITELY on my list of birds I want to see. And, that chickadee shot. I'd have wet my pants with glee! :)

That picture of the field of daffodils. WOW! Utterly gorgeous!

You should be over-flowing with YOU -- you rock!

Oh and you probably REALLY know this but as a teacher I feel obligated to point out that spring break (and every other break) isn't about the KIDS getting a break, oh please! It's about the TEACHER'S getting a break!!! :)

katdoc said...

Gotta love the CNC in spring! I was there twice this week. Great pics!

Male Wood Ducks are the BOMB, aren't they? I saw him Tues, but missed her.

No answers on the moth/butterfly - I can't find it my (admittedly limited) identification guide.

Poor Nellie - I guess she was dive-bombed one time too many?

~Kathi (who won't tell you she has 5 BB eggs)

Mary said...

SHOW OFF.. Susan, you saw more in one day that I see in two weeks!!! The swallows and Nellie is quite a story. The girls near that tree is awesome. All of your pictures are wonderful! Liza is right - the kids never need a break. The teachers need the break for their mental health.

Keep showing great stuff. You rock.

Larry said...

-I've tried to get close to Wood Ducks for apicture but they don't seem to trust me.-Excellent photo!

Anonymous said...

Found that moth; it's called a Grapevine Epimenis - google it for more info.

Laura (bug nerd)

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh, Laura, you rock! I have those every year and was calling them Foresters--like the eight-spotted forester that flies later in the summer in great numbers--but I am so glad to learn what they really are. We've got 'em too, SGN!

Anonymous said...

I used the new Kauffman Insect Guide - finding this moth so easily almost convinced me to buy it!

Laura (who's still a bug nerd and too lazy to sign in)