Monthly Archives: August 2014

Wilson’s Phalaropes, Kansas

Most, if not all, of my personal experiences with Wilson’s Phalaropes have been in the Great Bend area of central Kansas, and have come within the last year or so.     Last year (late April 2013) I had plenty of opportunities to view at close range the spinning behavior of these birds while they... Continue reading »
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White Flowers in the Marsh

White seems to be the color of fashion at the moment (i.e., as of 5 July 2014).     All of the well-dressed marsh flowers are wearing it this season (e.g., Nelumbo lutea, Nymphaea odorata, some Hibiscus, etc.).     Many of the plants that didn’t choose white have opted for yellow (Ludwigia) and pink... Continue reading »
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Swallows

I had at least three encounters with swallows in the Cheyenne Bottoms WMA and Quivera NWR areas, Great Bend, Kansas this spring (late-April to early-May 2014).     The first incident was finding them resting on the gravel roads in the area, apparently trying to hunker down and stay out of the sustained high winds... Continue reading »
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Earwigs and Eastern Gamagrass

My resources indicate that earwigs (Class Insecta, Order Dermaptera) are mostly nocturnal plant feeders.  If that is the case, either these earwigs are late knocking off from work, or they constitute the day shift.     From past observations I was aware of this aggregation of eastern gamagrass plants (Tripsacum dactyloides).  When I re-visited it... Continue reading »
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Which Dragonfly Species Is This?

Blue/green/turquoise eyes, white face, black stigmas and a little amber on mostly clear wings, striped thorax, bluish abdomen on upper surface with a black tip, and “blue” in this dragonfly’s name.     What is the common name of this dragonfly?     Check out one of the previous dragonfly posts to find some more... Continue reading »
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Skunk Corn

Several years ago when I lived in the mountains of southwest Virginia I hear some of the folks there refer to small corn plants as skunk corn.     The rationale was that skunks could amble down the rows and munch on the corn with no more effort than to occasionally rear up on their... Continue reading »
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Night Heron, Kansas

This observation was the only black-crowned night heron that I saw, but I may have overlooked others that might have been present.  These birds do not stand out quite so readily as do the white-plumaged waders, and they seem to be quite content to remain still.     My sources say that the black-crowned night... Continue reading »
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Geomorphology, Streams, and Alluvial Soils

I’m currently reading / re-reading a book on the geomorphology of the Lower Mississippi Valley (Saucier 1994).  Having grown up close to the Mississippi River and being involved with wetland habitats, I find the information fascinating.     With these geomorphology concepts in mind, I took some photos of this small Coastal Plain stream channel... Continue reading »
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Dragonfly Perch Selection – Choice or Happenstance?

Recently (14 May 2014) as I prepared to take a photo of some mature, green leaves of a ladies’ ear-drops vine (Brunnichia cirrhosa) I noticed what I believe to be a female eastern pondhawk dragonfly perched on one of my leaves of choice.     Looking around I discovered up to four eastern pondhawks (mostly... Continue reading »
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American Avocets, Kansas

In their breeding plumages, American avocets are quite the stylish birds.   Their patterns of white and black, topped by a rich wash of sienna, are simple but refined.     It is fun to watch them sweep their bills laterally back and forth as they search for food.  Sometimes they do this at or just... Continue reading »
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