Journal for May 3, 2015

As usual, my spring days are so busy that the only time I have to write a blog post is when it’s raining.  It’s raining tonight – so here goes!

We had our last snowstorm – hopefully the last for the season – on April 21st.

snow 4-21-15


Now it’s warm and the hills are turning green.  This is the savanna on top of Sumac Prairie, about a week ago.

sumac prairie savanna


And this is the Narrows Prairie today, with the storm coming.

narrows prairie


The biggest project at the moment is pulling Garlic Mustard.  I’m working on my favorite spot this week – the woods along the edge of Western Prairie.  All our woods has been logged – before we bought the land – but there are still lots of woodland wildflowers.  It’s fun to listen to the birds and look at the flowers as I work.

woods without garlic mustard


Mike has been helping me with the Garlic Mustard project because the end of the season is coming, and there’s a lot more to do.  I have to stop when the seeds form – before they start falling off the plants.   Mike took photos of the place where we pulled today – I had missed seeing it for a few years, so by the time I found it, this year, it was pretty bad.

Here it is before we started pulling.

garlic mustard before


And after……. much better!

garlic mustard after


All the native spring flowers are blooming now.

Wood Anemone

Wood Anemone


Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry


This is a violet that’s a natural hybrid – it’s called an Early Blue Violet, and it’s a cross between one of the violets with divided leaves (probably Viola pedatifida) and one of the common blue violets (Viola affinis or Viola sororia)

Viola x palmata


Yellow Violet

Viola pubescens


Bird’s Foot Violet

Birds Foot Violet 2


Small-flowered Buttercup

Ranunculus abortivus 5-2-15


Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold


Hoary Puccoon

Lithospermum canescens 5-1-15


Blue-eyed Grass – not really a grass – it’s actually in the same family as Iris.

Blue-eyed Grass





This is the earliest of the flowering trees – Serviceberry



Wild Plum – which just started blooming a few days ago.

Prunus americana 5-1-15


We’re starting to see butterflies and dragonflies.

This is a Mourning Cloak – one of the earliest butterflies.  It’s looking a little tattered because it spent the winter as an adult, hibernating behind bark or in a pile of brush.

Mourning Cloak


A Spring Azure – the first of the butterflies that emerges from a chrysalis in the spring.

Spring Azure


And finally it’s moth season again!  I’ve been getting some of the beautiful early moths at my lights.

Staight-lined Plagodis

Plagodis phlogosaria 4-29-15 1


Lettered Sphinx – this is always the first Sphinx moth

Deidamia inscriptum 4-26-15 2


Two-lined Hooktip

Drepana bilineata 4-26-15 1


Snake Warning – for those of you who don’t like even pictures of snakes!

This is a Smooth Green Snake.  I’ve only seen this species three times here, in 15 years.  And this is the first time I’ve been able to get a good picture.  It was stretched across the path through one of our planted prairies.

green snake


A Spring Sunrise