Friday, July 8, 2011

Rhodys!

The Rhododendrons are blooming! The ones arching across the Shelter Trail are looking very beautiful. They are easy to see, and this weekend will be the perfect time to see them. We even have a guided walk on Sunday at 1:00pm. Check them out before they're done...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Procrastination is my middle name...

Combine that with lots of other stuff happening, and you get a whole month that has flown by without a posting! So sorry! To make up for it here are a bunch of pictures from the last month or so with little tidbits to go with.


This was a great moment. It was a good lesson too, as I had heard a strange sound earlier that day, but paid absolutely no attention to it. I believe this fawn had been hanging around here pretty much all day while mom was out and about browsing. This little guy would bleat every now and then and that's how I finally noticed him on my way out at the end of the day. Yesterday I saw two fawns with two does. That would account for all the munching that has been going on with our plantings.


Finally we dried out from the wet, wet spring. The boardwalk area water level was very low, making a great place to see animal tracks. Here are mallard tracks, but I also saw raccoon and turtle tracks.



The wet spring made for wonderful conditions for fungus.



The leafcutter bees were out in full force last month. The small patch of young redbuds seemed to be a favorite gathering site. These bees build a series of cells out of cut pieces of leaves, usually in rotting wood. In each cell, the bee packs it with pollen, lays and egg, and seals it all up. When the egg hatches, the larva has all the food it needs to develop into an adult.


A relic or descendant from Carmen...


It was slow to warm and the sun was shy, but we at last started to see the odonates!


There has been SO much excitement and drama with this years batch of Cecropia moths, it may be necessary for that to be its own posting.







Ahh, the month of green and white, with a few colors here and there.



Insects are animals too, and I think there are often much more interesting to observe! They are more colorful, and easier to see. Most of the living things we think of when we think of animals end up being nocturnal so we can't see them as readily.


I'm having a great crop at my house this year. I've already made a pie, yum!



The butterfly nectar garden is starting to bloom. Once this starts to happen, there's never a dull moment out there.




We had some orchid excitement last week. I struck out on the Casa Burro trail with the intent of walking the trails to see what was going on, and the check for downed limbs/trees. However, I got to a point along the trail where I gazed uphill and thought, "hmm... I've never explored that area over there. It looks interesting." and before I knew it I was off-trail just poking around. Then very unexpectedly, I saw an orchid! Naturally I did not have my Newcomb's with me, but I did have my phone, so I called Tom back down at the Nature Center. I persuaded him to come up and he quickly identified it as Ragged Fringed Orchis. I think it is so beautiful! We looked and looked, but could only find the one. BUT... while looking Tom found several plants of the Green Adder's Mouth Orchid. Then we found some more, and then some more! We believe there are upwards of two dozen plants in this area! As you can see from the picture of the Green Adder's Mouth, it is not quite in bloom yet. The really cool thing about these two orchids is that although they are both already recorded on our plant list, we haven't see either in a couple of decades.

Yea for nature!