Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mostly flowers

Yep, it's definitely getting harder to spot birds now, with all the nice green leaves expanding on the trees. I heard so many birds this morning in the Naugatuck State Forest -- gads of them, calling in the trees all around me -- but I just couldn't seem to find them up there!

This female Rose-breasted Grosbeak was kind enough to fly down to the bushes at my level, but she only hung around long enough for a couple of blurry pictures before she disappeared into the leafy canopy again. This is a new bird for me, and the name "grosbeak" is definitely appropriate -- the first thing I noticed about this girl was her big hulking beak. I waited for a little while to see if a male would show up -- these guys are black with a big blob of pink/red on their otherwise white breast, and I'd like to see one someday. But no luck. If this female's mate was around, he preferred to stay hidden.

Every time I turn around, it seems, there are more wildflowers blooming:

This is a Canada Mayflower (also called False Lily-of-the-Valley, Maianthemum canadense). These plants grow all over the woods where I walk, usually in huge sprawling patches. I've been noticing these buds for weeks, and they're just now starting to open to show pretty little four-pointed stars.

These flowers are Pussytoes, although I'm not quite sure of the exact species. So pretty and so fuzzy. :)

And this is Common Winter Cress (also called Garden Yellowrocket, Barbarea vulgaris), a species introduced from Europe. I only saw a couple of these plants, though, and the internet isn't telling me that it's invasive, so maybe it's OK if I admire its happy yellow flowers. :)

Everything is growing and flourishing out there. With all the leaves out now and temperatures in the 70s, spring is starting to look a little like summer!

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