Saturday, June 02, 2007

Someday, I will get pictures of birds again

I only had a few hours to myself today to do a nature walk.
Since gasoline is like a million dollars a gallon, I chose California Woods.
It's a small nature preserve near the Ohio River, and very quiet and I have never seen more than two people there at once.
Well, duh.
Call me snarky, but do we really need a "study" to find out the effects of deer grazing?
This area was fenced, and full of plants and flowers. The outside of the fence was thinned out.
It seems pretty straightforward to me.

There were very few flowers in bloom...the drought?
(Which ended today, thank goodness...we got a nice soaking rain)
I used the wildflower field guide from the library...If I make a mistake, please tell me:
Spider wort and green buggy
Spider wort (and a cute little green bug)
The middle of the flower has a little poof of bluish hair!
(This flower was a lot more purple than the picture looks)
Canada violet
Canada violet

Wood poppy
Wood poppy

Cute little orange and black bug
This little bug was so cute. He had an "ant" face.
Anyone miss my bird photos? Me, too.
I heard plenty, but since there really isn't an under story at
California Woods, the birds were WAY up.

Number 4 tree
A Number Four sycamore!
Demure tree
And a very demure tree, with her legs properly crossed.

My lips are sealed
The Number Four tree had this scar...looks like a lip print, doesn't it?

Anyone know if this is an egg?
Electric blue damselfly
Electric blue damselfly...I sort of know the difference between dragonflies and damselflies, but damned if I could explain why I think so.

some sort of damselfly
An all-black damselfly with a white wing spot.

And now, on the home front:

Three little robins, sittin in a tree
The four robin eggs have turned into three baby robins! (and one unhatched egg)
They can't be more than a day old. How sweet!

I am so jazzed about gardening tomorrow. It's supposed to rain, but hey. Rain be damned.
I have milkweed to get into the ground, and here's why:

Wee little MONARCH caterpillar
A teeny, tiny monarch caterpillar!
I wasn't sure of what I was looking at (I have never seen them this young) so I researched and found pictures to match this sweet little guy. I knew their eggs were small, but it seems UNREAL that this tiny wormy-thing will someday be a monarch butterfly.
So little ol' me will be kneeling in the mud, planting and planning tomorrow.


LauraHinNJ said...

I'm happy you're planting milkweed; the monarchs will thank you!

I think damselflies tend to hold their winds together when perched; dragonflies keep them open. I'll see if I can find these in my field guide and come up with a name for you - they are pretty! Are they as big as they look in your pics?

LostRoses said...

Ha ha, Susan, I agree; do they think they're going to find out something different about deer grazing? I'd be "snarky" too. Loved the pictures of your walk, especially the number 4 tree!

NatureWoman said...

Ohhh, I love the teeny little monarch caterpillar! And you planting milkweed - you so rock Susan!
Yeah, I see the deer studies in my area, too. It's so freakin' obvious, I can believe people pay people to do this.
I *love* your #4 sycamore. Unfortunately #4 has a canker :( which allows fungus to enter and cause #4 to have anthracnose (early twig and leaf drop).
Sweeeeeet little robin babies, oh my. Bewd babies are so awesome.

NatureWoman said...

Oh, and I hope you've sent the rain my way - we need it bad here.
One more tree comment then I'll shut up. Crossing roots like that causes root girdling eventually leading to tree death. Okay, zipping my lips now (and fingers).

KatDoc said...

Laura beat me to it: Damselflies fold their wings together at rest (like in your photos) while dragonflies leave them extended horizontally. I don't know how to tell them apaut when they are flying. (This is the sum total of my knowledge of Odonos.)

You and Birdchick have me looking under every milkweed leaf in my yard. So far, no eggs or cats, but I am still looking.

Thanks for letting everyone here know that my blog is up and running. I am getting a slow start, but better stuff is coming (I hope.)


PS: Did your girls get poison ivy?

Mary said...

I knew there was something I was missing at the nursery yesterday. Milkweed!

Glad you got rain, Susan. We had an overnight rain but I don't yet know if it put a dent in our rain deficit.

You're very observant when you are hiking. I don't know if I would notice a "teeny, tiny monarch caterpillar"! Good job!

Susan Gets Native said...

Laura: Since we have what you would call a "weedy" yard, I thought milkWEED would fit right in. And it's an easy plant to grow. And dragonflies vs. damselflies....birds are so much easier. At least THEY sing!

lostroses: I'm glad that I am not the only one who thinks that is a little DUH. And the Number Four tree has graffiti all over it, "Fricke" tried, 2007". I guess people try to climb it.

: )

Kath: No PI on the girls. But I found a huge patch of it outside our fence line...thankfully an area that the girls aren't allowed to go.

Mary: My version of hiking involves stopping every 5 feet or so. Takes me forever to get anywhere. Now that I am not only looking UP for birds, I am also looking DOWN for butterflies and dragonflies. If I walk too fast, I miss everything.

cestoady said...

That deer "Study" may appear pointless and obvious but it is a valuable and important way to collect DOCUMENTED ,quatitative data on the impact of deer on the environment. For example ,we can learn how long it takes to do the damage,if certain plants suffer more than others, how the damage is related to herd size,and
to get contrasting pictures of protected and unprotected areas.

Such documented (with proof)info is very critical in assessing impac t(in court of law,or at high state level) of the deer population on the environment -- all related to possible measures to control deer, and maybe change hunting regulations. Such a study ,therefore, provides the HARD data related to how the deer herd should be managed -- and to judge whether future control measures (policies) are warranted.

Susan Gets Native said...

Yes, point well taken.
But that is what I mean by "snarky". This study is collecting hard evidence of deer overpopulation, and might just show the deer-huggers that higher kill limits are in order, but I just thought it was a DUH moment.
In the middle of the woods, where deer are supposed to be, the study seems kind of misplaced. Deer are exploding everywhere because we have created deer-utopia with our lawns, and hunters can't shoot them in neighborhoods. (Not that they SHOULD)
I wonder if a deer study will raise any politician's eyebrows, if all the evidence of global warming is largely going unnoticed. Maybe if the NRA greases some palms, the deer population will start being culled a little faster?