|Fringed Gentian - with Hover Fly pollinator at Ojibway Park|
Not much to report as of late. Probably my best birding high-lite has been a third Scarlet Tanager sighting in my back yard within the span of a week. This one above was seen last Thursday before work. I did go out to Pelee with my son this last weekend but it wasn't particularly exciting. I did see another Grey Hairstreak though!
|3 backyard Scarlet Tanagers - in one week?|
I attempted to re-find the Fringed Gentian that I saw last year at this time at Ojibway but ... it wasn't to be found. I remembered that these flowers are bi-annuals - they have a two year life cycle. They aren't perennials! So I walked around the Spring-garden area to find some really nice prairie habitat that I had not discovered before and wow - some amazing plants. Closed Gentian, Fringed Gentian, Nodding Ladies Tresses Orchid, Riddel's Goldenrod, Prairie Rattlesnake Root all well seen. But even beyond the "rarities" --- the Goldenrod and New England Asters create an ocean of colour - Purple - Yellow - White .... Its just breathtaking! The fall explosion of colour makes the end of summer just a little more bearable to the naturalist!
|Nodding Ladies Tresses|
Here are two more botany connections to end off this posting:
I was cutting out some weeds from my "garden" which didn't get planted this summer when I came upon this weed/flower. It was so different ---- I couldn't bring myself to chop it out of my garden with my sickle - the flowers were too beautiful --- too mesmerizing! So later I was flipping through the botany field guide that reader Irene gave me to realize --- this plant is called Jimsonweed! I did a google search to learn more and found the following passage from Wikipedia: "All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of the tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which are classified as deliriants, or anticholinergics. The risk of fatal overdose is high among uninformed users, and many hospitalizations occur amongst recreational users who ingest the plant for its psychoactive effects."(Wikipedia) WHHOOAO... A who says botany is boring?
OK... ONE LAST BOTANY note for this posting!
I had made a collage of summer wildflowers from Ojibway many years ago - in 2010 if you could believe, and I was looking at that collage recently and noticed this yellow - flowered plant. And I thought -- what is this? So Pat's blog last week mentioned seeing a non-flowering plant - Whorled Loosestrife -- and I followed up a google image search just to see what it generally looks like while flowering and sure enough - my mystery plant was finally identified --- if only 6 years after taking the photo!
Good birding and botanizing!
PS: I happened to find this video (just 1.5 mins) with Seth Godin (entrepreneur, author) discussing how great it is to be a blogger. Blogging gets you into a conversation and creates meta-cognitive experiences that boosts learning. Check it out...