Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Some notes on the natural world around here Saturday.

May 3, 2008 at CBNA. It was blustery, unseasonably chilly. I went into the park. Where the paved trail ends there are two bicycle racks. A mulched trail leads to the pond. A fallen oak tree lies here slowly decomposing. The land around this fallen oak is recovering woodland. A large oak tree stands to the north, surrounded by a colony of mayapple. A few years ago the understory here was dominated by bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). This has cleared out mostly, and a strong population of spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) and blue violet (Viola sororia) is here. A few ramps (Allium tricoccum) and solomon’s seal are here too. New ash trees are replacing the forest. Poison ivy is leafing out. Medium size black cherry trees (Prunus serotina) are here. To the south the hawthorn trees (Crataegus) are flowering. Their white flowers appear in distinctive umbels. Wild garlic (Allium vineale) is here in patches. Last year’s pokeweed stem is here. No sign of the new poke sprout, it is sure to appear very soon. A few garlic mustard are here, not too many. Dentaria is past flowering and is showing seed capsules. Jewelweed here showing just the first two leaves past the cotyledon stage. The plum tree thicket that grows at the woods’ edge are at the end of the flowering stage. Jack-in-the-pulpit is showing flowers. The mulch trail is spotted with the brown cast off floral remains from some sort of tree, I don’t know what kind, maybe hickory or ash? In the mowed area, dandelion and ground ivy are flowering. Some of the cherry tree leaves have mite galls.

At the edge of the pond, frogs jump into the water. A bird smaller than a sparrow with a little streak of yellow on the sides is here. Possibly it is golden-winged warbler. Numerous swallows are skimming over the surface of the water. Wolffia floating on the water, or maybe it’s duckweed. Four Canada geese fly by here headed southeast. A great blue heron flies south and lands in the clear cut area. Unknown grass about 10 inches high. Delicate looking galium here. A few wild mustards (yellow flowers), dandelion, garlic mustard (white flowers) here. Moving on, prairie trillium, Virginia creeper, a few patches of day-lily (maybe). The flowering stage for redbud is almost over, leaves are the size of nickels now. Moving on, bloodroot in leaf, unknown sedge. Greek valerian (Polemonium) is flowering. On fallen tree at shore of pond, unknown grey shorebird drinks water, has white breast. Another fallen tree, bark falling off, shows extensive bark beetle galleries. Some blue phlox flowering. Moving on, some Sambucus (elderberry). New hackberry trees. Persicaria (lady’s thumb).

No comments: