Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
When sorting photos I'm always surprised to notice a detail I hadn't seen in the field. The little spider waits for a bee to land, and it makes me wonder how many Bottle Gentians and other tubular flowers have spiders waiting inside. On a few occasions I have found a tubular flower with a dead bee half in and half out. It doesn't seem like such a tiny spider would have enough venom to bring down a large bee, and that makes me wonder, does a bee ever fly away with a spider latched onto it?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Maybe someday we will find a pitcher plant that can trap White-tailed Deer!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Until now, I hadn't posted many of the photos from our trip, as I wasn't sure which photos I was going to include in my slide show and I didn't want to spoil my show for those in attendance. Now that I've picked the photos for my presentation, I will start displaying some of the rejects here and at Through Handlens and Binoculars.
This is Corallorhiza trifida (Yellow Coralroot), a bit past its prime. We saw this saprophytic subalpine orchid along the Missouri Lakes trail at Holy Cross Wilderness.
Corallorhiza trifida is typically self-pollinating. It is circumboreal, found in a variety of habitats including swamps and coniferous, deciduous, and mixed woods.
Corallorhiza striata (Hooded or Striped Coralroot), pictured directly above and below, is an orchid of deep, moist woods.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Emma Pitcher Quotes:
“Nature writing of necessity involves two delightful occupations: roaming around wild places observing flora and fauna and later poring over relevant books attempting to learn more. In such pleasant ways do naturalists grope toward understanding. Questions always remain – leading to the next foray. Fortunately, the learning never ends.”
“… the nostalgic, somewhat dreamy whistle of an unseen migrating white-throated sparrow on a misty spring morning, a sound that sets blood a stirring in birdwatchers everywhere.”
“…when the flute-like ee oh lay of the wood thrush sounds through the woods, I drop everything to treasure each crystalline note.”
“One of the most astonishing all-time banding records is that of an Arctic tern found dead on the same Maine island where he had been banded thirty-four years earlier. At 25,000 migratory miles flown in a year, this tern weighing four ounces flew 850,000 in its lifetime.”
“A white-throated sparrow, that bird of haunting, ethereal whistles…”
[Ah, yes, my favorite quote of all time from any author]: "...pale satiny yellow breasts and dark velvety smudges around eyes are apparent." [I'm basking in the beauty of the image this evokes... of Cedar Waxwings].
“In winter, tough, scaly fringes grow on toe edges of the feet of ruffed grouse, serving as unique snow shoes. These drop off in spring…. Like willow ptarmigan, these grouse will spend cold winter nights in a snow bank.”
“A family of barred owls lived near me and one often hooted from the big pine just outside my bedroom window. It was a scary but delightful experience to be wakened by that call of the wild just ten feet from my bed.”
[Re: barred owls]: “Invisible ears are cavities in lower sides of the head covered with loose-ribbed feathers that can spread to form funnels.”
[Re: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird]: “… when a thumb-sized ruby-throated leaves for South America in fall, this wee being makes an extraordinary 500-mile nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico from the tip of Florida to the coast of Yucatan. Miracle? Yes.”
[Re: Blue Jays]: “When they do migrate, they move by day. On April28, 1981, 2,210 were observed flying eastward along the Lake Michigan shore east of Gary, Indiana.”
[Re: Blue Jays]: “Edward H. Forbush tells of jays not only feeding and guarding an old, partly blind jay, but also leading it to water. Who would have expected compassion from this often aggressive intruder?”
[Re: Black-Capped Chickadees]: In cold weather they become totally round, fluffing feathers to almost twice their normal size, thereby trapping air as insulation. One morning at twenty-five degrees below zero, I saw inflated chickadees covered with hoarfrost crystals, dazzling in the sunlight.”
[Re: Cedar Waxwings]: “Sometimes wing tips contain a bright red wax-like substance visible only at close range. The function of those waxy droplets is unknown.”
The botany section of the book is fast approaching...
Monday, October 12, 2009
It is called Pteris multifida and it is in the Pteridaceae (Maidenhair Fern Family). Other more familiar genera in the family are Adiantum, Cheilanthes and Pellaea. In Pteris, as other members of the family, the indusia (structures covering the sori) consists of revolute margins. You can see this in the photo of the lower frond surface below.
Friday, October 9, 2009
This is Hericium erinaceus, commonly known as Lion's Mane or Tooth Fungus. Edible when young, this mushroom is said to have the texture of octopus or squid. It is often found on fallen logs from fall into the winter; in this case, it was growing from a wound at the base of a Quercus velutina (Black Oak) tree. Another common name for this species is Old Man's Beard.
This last common name is pretty descriptive, I think. See what you think...
Okay, Justin's beard is more of a flocculose tomentum, but still...
Thanks to Dr. Don Ruch for verification of my identification of this fungus.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I am pretty sure this is Late Horse Gentian, since all of the leaves were perfoliate. Or as S&W says 'middle leaves pandurate, narrowed below the middle, dialated and clasping-connate at the base.' The fruits were very attractive, with their color and geometric arrangement around the stem. I found these in an open woodland in Henry County, Indiana. Triosteum is an herbaceous member of the Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae) family.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Poison Sumac - Rhus vernix