Monday, April 13, 2009

Things I've seen lately

Wee baby salamanders at the CNC's Frog Pond:
Baby salamander
Thanks to Nina and her Caudata-philia, I pay attention to little squirmy things in ponds, instead of just writing them off as tadpoles.

Also at the CNC, a newly-minted butterfly:
Silver spotted skipper
I thought this was a silver-spotted skipper, but looking at photos of them, I see that the white should be on the hindwing, not the forewing. Anyone want to chime in? It was super-tiny.

I got my very own picture of the Lake Isabella GHOW chick:
Baby GHOW Lake Isabella
Late afternoon light sure does help when taking photos.

The mourning dove that got away:
The dove that got away
The other day, I saw what I assumed was a Cooper kill on the roof of the house. Throughout the day, dove feathers would drift down onto the front porch. Then later, I saw this picked-apart dove, very much alive and rummaging under the feeders. One tail feather left, and a rump that had been ripped nearly clean.
Speaking of Coops...I was alarmed tonight to see a chickadee sitting completely vertical on the edge of a feeder. He didn't look at me as I moved from window to window to check him out. He was staring across the yard, and I followed his a small male Cooper's hawk in a tree. I tried to slip out to the car to get my camera, but spooked the Coop away. Damn. But the chickadee lived to "chickadee-dee-dee" another day.

My surprisingly robust orchid:
Twelve blossoms and counting
After spending the winter as a nondescript stub, this crazy plant has exploded.
I took this photo a few days ago, when there were 12 blossoms. There are 15 today. With more buds ready to open.
I had to stake the darn thing to keep it from falling over!
Thank you Julie, for turning me on to orchids!


Kallen305 said...

Love the owl photo! Glad to hear the chickadee made it another day. The Coopers should go after the larger birds like the starlings! The chickadee would be like a snack for him the the starling a full course meal. ;o).

I have no idea what kind of butterfly that is but its gorgeous!

Patrick Belardo said...

Nice pics. I'm going to go with "not a butterfly but a moth." Note the feathery antennae. I don't know what kind though. or the Flickr "ID Please" group can help.

Lynne said...

A lucky Chickadee and a lucky MODO too! (sorry Coop...)

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Thanks, Susan--that's the first salamander larva I've seen this spring--really!!

And your orchid looks very happy with whatever your care has been--you must have the green thumb.
I've tried orchids before, but our house is too cool/dry in the winter for their likes.

NatureWoman said...

These are all such cool things, Susan!

NCmountainwoman said...

I loved this spring post. Thank goodness you spooked the coop. I know they need to eat, but not the chickadees, please. And the orchid tempts me to try once again after many failures.

dguzman said...


Tutta la Storia said...

Fun blog. I am very jealous--your job sounds great--so good to be in a position to give back to Mother Nature. I have never had luck with orchids--that one is a beauty!

Mel said...

Pretty butterfly, but no clue of what it is, sorry!
The orchids are stunning!!

dAwN said...

yikes..poor little dove...Did it seem like it was ok..just missing some feathers?
The baby owl is precious.
As far as the orchid..well yours is just beautiful ..I wish I could grow them...

donaldthebirder said...

It is not a butterfly, but a Grapevine Epimenis moth, Psychomorpha epimenis.

Susan Gets Native said...

Donald: Thanks! I was having a heck of a time finding that guy!
There were lots at CNC, and SO tiny! Like the size of a nickel!

Mary said...

You really do have an orchid? I'm impressed. I should get up the nerve.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Whooty whooty whoot on the orchid, Susan! Geoff Heeter of Opossum Creek is an orchid fan, too. He often puts one in each cabin.