Journal for May 29, 2013

The snow is finally completely gone – I think!  It feels like summer most of the time, except on those 45 degree drizzly days.  In the last few days it got up to 80 degrees, and we’ve had thunderstorms and almost two inches of rain.

Moths and butterflies have been scarce, but there are plenty of flowers blooming.

Spring flowers in the remnant prairies –

Hoary Puccoon



Bird’s Foot Violet

birds foot violet


Small White Violet

white violet


Marsh Marigold in the wetlands

spring with marigolds


More Marsh Marigolds

marsh marigolds


And apple blossoms – we have lots of old apple trees scattered through the woods, and even though they’re not native, I love seeing and smelling the blossoms.

apple blossoms

This is Maple Hill – the new land that we added to the farm last summer.   There’s no evidence that it’s been logged – at least for a very long time.  The ground layer of the woods in in good shape, with lots of ferns and spring flowers.

maple hill

Here are some of the Maple Hill woodland flowers.

Red Baneberry

red baneberry


Wood Anemone

wood anemone


Rue Anemone

rue anemone


Bishop’s Cap – one of my favorites

bishop's cap


Blue Cohosh – a new one for the farm.  We don’t have this plant on the other part of our land.

Blue Cohosh


Uncurling ferns

ferns 2


More ferns

ferns 1


A Scarlet Tanager on Maple Hill

Scarlet Tanager 5-21-13


Another special bird we saw last week was a Lazuli Bunting.  They’re rare in Wisconsin – their normal range is in the western U.S.  This one appeared at the farm for a few hours on May 19th.  Just after I took these pictures, there was a violent wind and rain storm, and I didn’t see him after that.

unknown bird 5-19-13 2


His coloring looks like a bluebird from the front, but he has a fat seed-eater’s beak.

unknown bird 5-19-13 3


This is Garlic Mustard time – when I police the farm for Garlic Mustard infestations.  I found – and removed – a few new patches that I must have missed last year, and worked on some of the worst patches.  But some of the areas where I pulled last year are nearly Garlic Mustard free this year.   I’m hopeful that I’m at least keeping up.

Garlic Mustard in it’s early stage – pre-flowering.  This week it’s got flowers and some seeds, so I have to hurry and finish pulling it before the seeds start to disperse.

garlic mustard


Our friend Martha came down to help pull Garlic Mustard, and to enjoy the springtime scenery.  Here are Martha and Mike on the Big View bench.

Martha and Mike on the bench 5-20-13


This is the time of year when we start seeing fawns running with their mothers, or curled up in the grass.  Here are a few that were caught by the wildlife cameras.

doe and fawn 5-30-13


fawn 2 5-26-13



fawn 4 5-26-13



This was a moth I found during the day – well camouflaged on a dead leaf.  It’s called The Wedgeling.

the wedgeling 5-21-13


And a few nighttime moths

Darker Diacme Moth

Diacme adipaloides 5-16-13 1


Yellow Slant-line

Tetracis crocallata 5-28-13 1


Another view of the Yellow Slant-line.  Some moths hold their wings like butterflies.

Tetracis crocallata 5-28-13 2


Colorful Zale

Zale minerea 5-16-13 1


One-lined Zale

Zale unilineata 5-16-13 1



There hasn’t been much sun, but I’ve seen a few butterflies.

Black Swallowtail

black swallowtail



Cabbage White

cabbage white


And today, our first Monarch of the season.  It looks more like a painting than a photo because it was taken from pretty far away, using digital zoom.

first monarch 5-30-13