Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pretty yard weeds and more warblers in the woods

I went to the woods this morning and saw tons of cool birds (24 species, which is kind of a lot for me), but the little flying creatures didn't translate very well to pictures today, so I don't have a great deal to show. (Since so much of my "photography" is based on chance, this was bound to happen eventually.) The Great Horned Owl parent was drowsing on the nest, and the Palm Warblers were still flitting around (or possibly new ones had arrived). I also had fun watching a group of Yellow-rumped Warblers -- affectionately referred to in this apartment as "yellow butts" ever since we identified these birds outside our windows last fall by noting this distinguishing feature -- with the males trilling and showing off their bright yellow, black, and white markings.

And I learned a new warbler today: the Pine Warbler. This isn't a great picture of the bird by any means (when I showed it to Paul, he asked me if there was supposed to be a bird in there somewhere), but it helped me figure out what I was looking at, at least. These birds breed in the northeastern US and I think they're supposed to be fairly common around here in the spring and summer, but this is the first time I've seen one. Birds are cool. :)

I'm still waiting for the violets to spring up in the woods (I saw little leaves everywhere this morning, but no flowers yet). In the meantime, I found this beautiful little Common Blue Violet growing as a weed at the very edge of our yard. I think I like this bicolor version of these flowers more than the standard purple variety -- I love the fine tracings of purple lines near the center of the petals, and the way the color fades into the white.

And while I'm on the subject of weeds, I had to admire this Common Dandelion blooming at my doorstep. I know... it's a dandelion. But there are still so few flowers around right now, I feel like I should appreciate every bit of color I can find. Plus, it's kinda pretty.

It was 70 degrees and sunny today -- we even had the windows open for a little while! Here's hoping we get even more nice days like this soon!

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