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.
nature notesDSCN5524
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.


Leora said...

Your blue jay cracks me up.

It's a cool looking plant you have at top - looks like it's already lost its flowers?

Love the shots of the rocky brook. Too bad not enough rain this year.

Gnarly roots - neat.

Cezar and Léia said...

A special collection of duck pictures today and for sure that root is very impressive, wonderful picture!

Reader Wil said...

Your birds are lovely and beautiful! Thanks for the tour in this magnificent environment! Have a great Thursday!

Rambling Woods said...

I can't help with the plants, but the two males look to me like molting males..into alternative brown female-like plumage or back from drab to breeding colors. If they were babies they would be going from down to brown female-like feathers...but I could be wrong...

EG CameraGirl said...

I find identifying many birds difficult! I'm so glad Michelle knows a lot more than I do!

I'm glad you are finally getting some rain!

eileeninmd said...

Love the geese photos and the bluejays is looking so funny. Great captures and post, Carver!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

The first ducks looks like what we call water ducks, or Beijing ducks.

I was fortunate not to live behind such bars, LOL. We had the option of living in a High Rise Condo with elevators, or a low rise 4 to 5 storeys where I had to climb the stairs. I didn’t want to be stuck in a elevator if it broke.

In deed, my 60 something friends were stuck in an elevator for 6 hours. In another case, when they were fixing the elevators, it was either a lock in or lock out.They gave the notification, on Sunday, we are fixing the elevator from10 am to 5 pm, at this time , you either stay out or stay in.

Leckeres für Mensch und Katze said...

The second last looks so cute! :)

Arija said...

As far as I could see from your photos, there were only two geese there, the Canada goose and the one white goose with a black beak, the rest were all ducks. You can tell by the flatter, wider, duckbill compared to the pointy beak on the geese.

Nicole said...

This is once again a beautiful tour through your world.
I love all those newbies and the green!

Ascender Rises Above ! said...

I have missed your birds taking a drink series. I usually have only jays; the kind the scream and then let the female come and drink