Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Nature Notes: Identification help and greatful for green
I spotted this plant growing near the banks of the lake and liked it but have no idea what it is.
I've always thought of the white birds at the lake as ducks because they are smaller than what I think of as white geese. Another lake I go to has a pair of swans but I've never seen swans at Shelley Lake. Only ducks or geese like the ones below.
However, in attempting to identify some juveniles, I think it's possible that the pair above are mature or close to mature Ross's Geese and the ones below are juvenile Ross's Geese.
It's confusing because these juveniles hang out with mallard juveniles pretty far away from any adults that could be their parents.
With the one below you can see some orange peeking through the dark bill which happens with Ross's Geese as the young ones have dark bills and mature turn orange. The one above has the white feathers but its bill is still dark.
I'm pretty sure the next two are juvenile mallards and they are among the young mallards that hang out with the juvenile Ross's Geese (if that's what they are) above.
It makes it hard for me to be sure of identifications when the juveniles are getting pretty close to adult size but don't have their adult feathers.
Whenever I see an oval on a tree like the one below, I keep wondering where the door is because surely there are wood nymphs with their cozy homes inside.
Gnarly roots anchoring trees to banks also make me think that woodland families must be housed within.
I am grateful for the green canopies which make it cooler in the woods.
All the green is also a sign that in spite of a moderate drought and hot weather it's not too severe yet or everything would be turning brown.
Exposed rocks in the creeks and many flowers turning to brown is the main evidence that conditions haven't been great this summer.
I think the fact that the winter and spring were wet helped a lot with the heat wave that arrived in June.
We have had a few showers recently and a chance of more so my fingers are crossed that we'll continue to at least get some rain here and there.
I thought the Canada Goose above had a fun walk.
The blue jay above and the carolina chickadee below were reminding me to change out the bird baths with cool water to the brim.
Click for the home of Nature Notes. I'm early as usual.