Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Good Year for Some Plants

I don’t know whether this past winter’s (2013-2014) cold weather and high water levels had any effect, if it is just the right year in a cycle, or if I’m just noticing what is normal, but there seems to be a profusion of flowering among the local water lily and southern wild rice plants.  ... Continue reading »
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Blue-winged Teal, Kansas

One of the rewards of a spring visit to Cheyenne Bottoms, Great Bend, Kansas, is to see large numbers of waterfowl as they pause during their northward spring migration.  Blue-winged teal were abundant in flocks of 12 to 50+ individuals, and were the most numerous duck species present.     It was soothing to see... Continue reading »
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Three to One

Apparently these accommodations were just right for some early spring turtle thermo-regulation activity.     However, it seems that some turtles are finicky about the company they keep.     Presumably the combination of my vehicle, my camera, and I did not pass muster for the turtle social register for the majority of this local... Continue reading »
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“Black Bugs”

When I was photographing these tiny black insects in Maine (25 April 2014) I thought they might be a swarm of black flies, so notorious in the North Woods for being even more of a biting pest than mosquitoes.     There were so many of these tiny black bugs present that they made a... Continue reading »
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Canvasback

I saw two canvasbacks on my late-April to early-May 2014 visit to the Great Bend, Kansas area.  A female flushed from the marsh and I was able to identify her as she winged off.  A few moments later I spotted a lone drake swimming in the moat-like ditch waters adjacent to the graveled dike road.... Continue reading »
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Osprey Nest

As of 31 March 2014, at least some of the ospreys that nest around Eufaula, Alabama, were back to check out the potential lodging accommodations.       With plenty of fish in the area and several potential nest structures available, the Eufaula, AL, area seems to be a good fit for ospreys.  
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Spring Wildflowers – Woodland Violets

Viola papilionacea, a small woodland violet, is a shade-loving vernal plant that develops on the forest floor before the trees leaf out in the spring.  Among other habitats, I often find this violet growing in the leaf litter in bottomland hardwood stands subject to occasional, but not too frequent, short-duration flooding.     I generally... Continue reading »
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Willow Trees and Great Egrets

What brought these egrets together?  Did one bird discover the foraging possibilities and others follow it to the mess hall?     Or, has this site been a known resource to be visited at the proper time from year to year?     Whatever the answer, the frogs, toads, crayfish, and other assorted potential prey... Continue reading »
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Cobbles and Kelp, Maine

Here was a new observation for me.  Not being from the coast, especially a rocky coast, I had never before seen pieces of kelp attached to cobbles.       The surf from the incoming tide was washing these cobble kelps up and down the beach in the upper wave zone.  As a wave came... Continue reading »
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Orchard Oriole Day at the Eufaula NWR, AL

This past Saturday (17 May 2014), the refuge staff and volunteers from the Friends of the Eufaula Refuge group hosted Open Gates Day at the Kennedy Unit of the refuge.  Having walked the route in the past, I took advantage of the opportunity to drive it and to stop along the way to watch for... Continue reading »
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