Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yet more wildflowers, and a bird or two

Silly Blogger, going down and making me delay publishing this post. Oh well, better two days late than never! 

Yesterday I left for Maryland, where I'll be for the next week or so. So on Thursday (May 12), I took advantage of my last chance to visit the Naugatuck State Forest for a good while. It was a lovely visit! 

My difficulties with seeing birds through the leaves continues, but I did get to hang out for a little while with this Ovenbird in the undergrowth:

These are such cool little birds, and I only learned about them recently. I love those big round eyes, and the dark stripes down its breast. This bird also has an awesome black-bordered orange stripe right on the top of its head (it reminds me of a mohawk), but you can only see a tiny bit of it in this picture. Also, Ovenbirds are LOUD! This little guy started calling shortly after I took this picture, and I was just blown away (not literally) by so much volume and power coming out of such a small bird. 

And here are the new wildflowers I saw:

This is a Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) a common wildflower, apparently, although I'm sure even if I have seen it before, I've never paid attention to it until now.

This is a Chokecherry, a decent-sized shrub that will have strings of (apparently edible, but very sour) berries later in the year. Right after I took this picture, a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird came to visit these flowers -- I got a very close view of this beautiful bird (so tiny!), but my camera wasn't ready for the quick encounter, so no pictures, sorry.

It took me a little while to figure out what this bush is, and my conclusion is that it's an Autumn Olive (Eleagnus umbellata), an introduced species from Europe that's listed as invasive and banned in Connecticut. It is very pretty, though, and those trumpet-shaped flowers look like they might make a good meal for some nectar-drinkers in the area.

A bunch of these Spotted Geranium blooms were just starting to open, in patches scattered throughout the woods. Again, this is by all accounts a very common plant, but it's new to me. I very much like it. :) 

I know a lot will probably happen in the woods while I'm gone, and I just hope it doesn't look too different by the time I get back. I'm hoping I'll get to explore Maryland's wildlife a little while I'm here (and maybe make a blog post or two? I'm not making any promises), but I'll sure miss walking in my familiar places. Keep getting greener, Connecticut, and I'll see you again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pictures - I've seen the Chokecherry, had it identified, and then forgot what it was. It's a pretty bush indeed! I'll keep a lookout for the Alexanders! Enjoy Maryland - look forward to the return of your posts!