Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Congregation of Coots

The dark blob in these photos is a compact flock of newly arrived (?) coots.  As I intermittently watched these birds over the course of 30 to 45 minutes, they swam in an amoeba-like fashion over a distance of 300 to 400 yards.             At most times the entire group of approximately 250 birds could... Continue reading »
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Weekly Plant Quiz – Answer

The plant of the week is one of the robust grasses known commonly as Gama Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides).  Gama grass and Jointgrass (Manisurus sp., or Coelorachis sp.) are somewhat similar on a casual first glance (and for me, even on a much closer inspection).  Check your keys or contact me (I’ll eventually have another Plant... Continue reading »
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White Vines

I don’t often see woody vines with white-colored stems, but I did observe at least five or six on my amble through this bottomland hardwood stand today (8 Oct 2011).             This vine stem has the “knobby knees” appearance of Ladies’ Ear-drops (Brunnichia cirrhosa), but I didn’t verify the identification.        On taking a somewhat closer... Continue reading »
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Weekly Plant Quiz – Wednesday’s Clue

Inflorescence with “fruits”.  What plant is this?
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Crossbill Roots

This American elm tree (Ulmus americana) has a set of adventitious roots whose appearance reminds me of the illustrations of the crossed bills found on Red Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and White-winged Crossbills (L. leucoptera).              If this particular small tree had been located in a streamside environment, I would have suspected that erosion might have... Continue reading »
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Weekly Plant Quiz – Monday’s Clue

Stigmas, stamens, and a grasshopper.  What plant is this?
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This Week’s Plant Identified

The plant of the week is often commonly known as River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium or Uniola latifolia).  Although not a “true” oat, it does remind me of a line in a British movie where the actor said (in reference to oatmeal): “The Scottish eat what the English feed to their horses.”  I guess if the... Continue reading »
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Unexpected Winter Birds

Early in my career, I was initially surprised to see eastern bluebirds and spotted sandpipers in the flooded habitats along the Lower Mississippi River.  However, based on a number of boating expeditions conducted during the months of November through January, I have found these observations to be somewhat common.             The bluebirds seem to prefer... Continue reading »
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Plant Quiz – Wednesday’s Clue

This habitat view is from one of my earlier “Just Right” blogs.  What plant is this?
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Ruffed Grouse Drumming Log

Although I’m not personally very familiar with ruffed grouse habitat, I have read some materials which discuss it.  The wildlife management literature contains many articles, papers, and books presenting what various investigators have observed, and I’ve read enough to be slightly dangerous and/or semi-confused.  I just haven’t pursued the bird enough to formulate my own... Continue reading »
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