Archivos de diario de octubre 2018

21 de octubre de 2018

Finally Back to Berry Springs

This evening I headed to Berry Springs for the monthly Amphibian Watch. We've been absent for most of the summer and I needed to be out in the park. There are plans to put a sewer line through here. It breaks my heart that development is more important than one small park.


The water was high and the flow over the dam making enough noise to drown out some calls. It was wonderful to see the creek and pond full as the last time I was here (August 18) I walked across a dry creek bed and on the pond bottom that was very dry save for some few large "puddles." There was some small flow from one to another where we found amphibians, but it was pretty dismal.

A number of park regulars were in the park when I arrived and updated us on what they have seen since the rains. Then we headed out to look for the hoppers. The Rio Grande Leopard frogs were in good voice. I attempted a number of recordings, but only managed these two relatively poor ones. Talking, camp noises, highway sounds and such interfere, but there are still some "purrs" and other vocalization from the RGLF. We got photos of one bullfrog after the watch was over. A number of bullfrogs were spotted, but the frogs startled before photos could be taken. KM and I went back to one of the ponds to check "just one more time" before leaving the park and we were rewarded with an odd glowing face of a large American Bullfrog. Earlier we had observed numbers of large bullfrog tadpoles.

We also saw an Western Narrow-mouthed toad, caught near a wet-weather pond area near the parking lot where they have been heard and seen before.

It was a surprisingly good evening after the odd weather we have had.

Some blooming plants were also noted - Mock Vervain, Waterwillow, and Hempvine - also common in the park, but refreshed by the recent rains.

Publicado el octubre 21, 2018 05:14 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 9 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de octubre de 2018

Butterflies, Moths, and other Pollinators

We arrived home from a long weekend of training and field trips to a blooming shrub (I thought it was called a snowball bush, but I'm not sure what it is. I purchased it about 20 years ago from the Antique Rose Emporium) full of Monarchs, Queens, Red Admirals, and a host of other pollinators.

It is hit or miss with this shrub. Some years it blooms at the right time for the butterflies. Other years the weather/bloom/butterflies do not coordinate.

I still remember when the shrub first bloomed. I found a neighborhood child with a large glass pickle jar carefully capturing monarchs to take to school. She was surprised to see me coming out of the house and apologized for taking my butterflies. We talked for a while about leaving nature in nature. I told her she could take those she already had caught, but that she probably had enough. I also told her she was welcome to pick flowers from my garden any time she wished (because that is why one plants a garden - right?).

We learn from them and they learn from us.

So I will think about her as I continue to photograph the pollinators that come to this bush over the next couple of days. I may try to capture more moths in the evening. They were not settling long enough for photos yesterday. We are expecting a cold front in two days and that could change everything.

[This shrub has a tendency to try to take over the space here with long brittle branches. I regularly snap off those that get to long and shade out other plants. I might have to rethink that behavior. I also may have to attempt some propagation. The scent is a bit overwhelming, but the butterflies are worth it.]

Publicado el octubre 29, 2018 06:10 TARDE por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 22 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de octubre de 2018

Along Nolan Creek

It was a rich day. We haven't been here in over a week and so were wondering what we would see. Well, among other things, 3 Great Blue Herons, 2 spiders, 5 crows (mobbing a hawk), and a Red-shouldered Hawk (one of the youngsters we have watched here all summer). We had never seen crow mobbing behavior before and were quite startled. The hawk came back 3 times and was chased away (loudly) the the crows each time. I came home and researched it - in case any one is interested.

Other than that it was a lovely end-of-October early morning walk.

The creek is still high and running fast. Huge masses of driftwood cluster around the bases of the bridges (BIG tree trunks as well as little stuff). Another tree has fallen and is taped off for safety.

Police patrolled today. That was new.

The weather is supposed to change tomorrow.

Publicado el octubre 30, 2018 02:35 TARDE por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

The last day for the butterfly bush?

I spent some time trying to get the different flies, bees, and wasps at the boneset bush today. There were a few uncooperative moths, a few Admirals, a goodly number (20 or so) Monarchs, but LOADS of Queens today. I tried for some variety in the flies/bees/wasps, but I don't know them. After being questioned about duplication and such, I have opted to say "fly" or "wasp" in most cases and I'll set someone else sort it out. The obvious identifications were made.

I'm mesmerized by this plant. I cannot remember the last time it drew so many (and so many different) pollinators. I took some "wide angle" shots and will go in and count individuals when I have time and I'll update numbers.

It's been a good few days. We will see what the weather will bring tomorrow.

Publicado el octubre 30, 2018 07:34 TARDE por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 29 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario