Wednesday, April 27, 2011
P.S. That's a Big Mantrap lake northern. Baron tried to lick him before he was released. Not a safe idea. :) I'll be back there next fall.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
At this point, I must interject a note that in my new birding hobby I was I only confident in identifying the ubiquitous red-tail and the northern Harrier. Harriers because of their penchant for twisting and turning low above the prairie.
I knew right away it wasn't a red-tail. It seemed considerably smaller, I thought. Then I noticed the white tail band. I moved the truck closer yet. Time for the Peterson field guide. There it was. A Broad-Winged Hawk.
"Forest hunter. Rather tame. White band on tail" my field guide claimed .
Millions of birders could, no doubt, have made this identification on sight alone. But for me it was a first. You gotta love it. I then knew three hawks. It was a start. Since then I’ve added a few more hawks and even a falcon or two....
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
The long trail up the ravine leads eventually to the horse camp. Not wishing to go there, I checked my map and turned east along a new trail to me called the "Fern Loop." It inititally followed below an east/west ridgeline yet was still high above the valley floor. It just might be the place to see those first spring wildflowers..... Sure enough it was. The hillside above and below me was covered with thousands of hepatica.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The kind that is among the first plants to reach up to the sunlight in earliest spring. They're call skunk cabbages. The troutbirder family had gone hiking up a small ravine in Forestville State Park to search for this oddly name plant. The woods had that bare gray look to it before the trees had begun to leaf out. The ground was leaf littered without much of anything growing yet. I was looking for some "seeps". That is a area that would be permanently wet thoughout the summer. It might on a hillside or along a temporary streambed coursing with spring runoff.
When the skunk cabbage first pops up in the spring, it looks quite like something you've never seen before. The "flower" is rather exotic as well...... and yes it does have a, shall we say, quite unique "aroma."
It's been a long hike this morning so Baron and I plunk down in the leaves for a breather. Our hunt successfull we know for sure now, that the skunk cabbages having arrived..... so has spring!