Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Dazzling Display of Forest Wildflowers

Red Trillium had a good showing in the old woods
It was impossible to keep on top of everything as it happened this spring. The wildflowers in the old woods had gotten off to a slow start, but then unseasonably warm temperatures at the onset of May caused everything to explode out of the ground. Leaves also came out almost overnight and transformed naked winter-like tree tops into a shady canopy.  The earliest wildflowers like Spring Beauty, Hepatica and Bloodroot enjoyed an extended bloom time, while virtually all of the second wave blooms were much shorter lived.  
Large-flowered Bellwort with its unusual drooping and leaf-like flower
Trout Lily also known as Dog-tooth Lily
Toad Shade - some years it's the first to bloom - this year it's way down on the list
Toad Shade Trillium flowers sometimes have green petals 
One of our rarest flowers - Rue Anemone
False Rue Anemone
Jack-in-the-Pulpit is enjoying a long blooming period despite the warm weather
Red Trillium at the height of its power
Close to the ground and often missed - Wild Ginger flowers
Wild Ginger 
One of the last Bloodroot flowers to keep its petals 
Spring Beauties 
Dutchman's Breeches were rare this spring
Twinleaf bloomed for a very short time
Round-leaved Yellow Violet
White Sweet Violet
Long-spurred Violet
White Trillium in all its glory
Foam Flower
Miterwort or False Bishop's Cap
Moosewood or Northern Striped Maple
Scarlet Elf Cup - a Fungus
Fiddleheads of the Christmas Fern
Fiddleheads of the Long-leaf Beech Fern
The forest's official greeter

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Exciting News From Our Peregrine Falcon Nest

There's been lots of excitement with our Utica Peregrine Falcons just lately. Last night there was an obvious hole in one of the 4 eggs. Also, thanks to our new microphone, for the first time we were able to hear the calls of the chick inside the egg. Early this morning the hatch finally occurred and before noon the first feeding took place.
We started the morning with 4 eggs - one looked and sounded ready to open
Early this morning Astrid takes a food offering from Ares
At 6:21 AM, the egg (middle back) begins to open
The Hatch taking place
The new chick is still wet and pink, but starting to dry off
Ares drops off some prey for the chick's first feeding
Astrid tears off tiny pieces of meat for the youngster

Ares gets his chance to mind the new chick on his own
Ares gets a chance to brood the eggs and chick - but Astrid returns in less than 10 minutes
Astrid looks stressed as she shades the brood from the hot afternoon sun