Friday, August 30, 2013

Wildflowers from Upper Michigan

Common burdock
This is a large bushy plant with round, prickly pink to lavender flower bands. Flowers from July to October 

The prickly flower heads of this Eurasian weed easily catch on fur and clothing.  I remember having they stuck in the fur or one of my dogs.

Pearly Everlasting
This is a plant that has a white woolly steam bearing a flat cluster of white, globe-shaped, flower heads.  The pure white flowers of  this plant are used in dried flower arrangements.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Upper Michigan

I know it is hard to see, but there is an eagle flying in the sky!  We saw several while we were there.  There must be a nest not too far away.  Young eagles do not have the white head and tail feathers.

Unknown, he is cute, but not sure what type of bird.

House Wren
This is a small brown bird with light brown marking on tail and wings.  Often holds tail erect. Brown slightly curved bill.

This is a prolific songbird.  They sing from dawn to dusk during mating season.  

In spring the males choose several prospective nesting cavities and place a few small twigs in each.  The female inspects each, chooses one and finishes the nest building.  She will completely fill nest cavity with uniform small twigs then line a small depression at back of next with pine needles and grass.

Found these mushrooms.  In a different light they appeared a light orange.

Just thought this one was cool.

Sunset over Lake Michigan.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sinking Ponds, East Aurora, New York

The Sinking Ponds Sanctuary in East Aurora, New York is an area my husband knew about, but had not visited in years.  When I found out about it I thought it would be interesting to see.  There are tails of quicksand there, and it is swampy.  It is a beautiful area as well.  Here is a teasel plant that was near the parking lot.

Deer reside almost everywhere.

This has to be the ugliest duck I have ever seen.  It is a Muscovy Duck. There was a whole flock of them. The native birds are found only is south Texas, domestic birds may be seen in parks across North America.  The feral variety widely introduced to parks and ponds, especially in Florida. The Feral Muscovy is big bodied, and blotched with white to almost all white.  Bare skin on face is usually red.  There were probably a dozen of these birds that came to shore.  They did not seem afraid of any of the people that were there. In fact one even hopped on to a picnic table where a couple was sitting.  Personally, I thought they were scary.

This line of Canadian Geese also came across the pond to the shore.

A little information about the Sinking Ponds.  Each time we go back to East Aurora, I now take time to visit them.  I have seen a couple of amazing and new birds for me.


Belted Kingfisher  Large blue gray bird with white belly.  Broad blue gray breast band and a ragged crest that can be raised or lowered at will. Large head with long black, thick bill.  This was a nice surprise.

A view across the pond.

Dragonfly sitting and sunning himself.

Turtle sunning on a sunken log.

Purple Loosestrife

Look what caught my eye on the way out of the sanctuary. A Green Heron sitting in a tree.

I had thought it was an American Bittern, but this guy is bigger.

He was preening himself.

Then turned his back on me.

He likes to hung for fish, but there were none in this tree that day!

Behind my brother-in-laws house someone has planted a whole field of wild flowers, mostly black-eyed Susan.

Some fleabane

Wild lupine.


Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susan

This grasshopper was just sitting there for me.

Indian Blanket

A different variety of Black-eyed Susan.

That field was just so pretty. I love to take pictures of flowers, can you tell?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Backyard Birding

This beautiful cardinal showed up in the back yard today

He really liked to pose for me.

I had just put out bird
feed today, and he was the first to come to the feeders.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kane County Forest Preserve Part 3

Eastern Kingbird
Amazing that I came up with 2 new birds on this day and butterflies and wildflowers.
This is a mostly black gray with with white belly and chin.  He has a black head and tail with a distinctive white band across the end of the tail.  He also, has a concealed red crown that is rarely seen.

This is a common bird of the open field and prairie.  I actually saw it along a small stream.
They say this bird has an attitude, acting unafraid of other birds and chasing larger birds.  Their behavior gives them their common name of "king".  

He likes to perch on tall branches watching for insects.  After flying out to catch them, he will return to the same perch, a technique called "Hawking."

Click on the pictures to make them bigger to see.