Journal for May 27, 2018

It seems like spring just started, but already it feels and looks like summer.

This is our Center Valley on May 4 – with still just a hint of green on the trees.


And this is the valley a few days ago – May 22 – already lush and summer-green.


The spring flowers are still blooming…

Sand Cress – usually the first non-tree flower I see


Birds Foot Violet


Sweet White Violet


Hoary Puccoon




And now the later spring/early summer flowers are coming too.

Prairie Violet


Marsh Marigolds




Blue-eyed Grass


Wild Columbine


Our planted prairies are fields of Golden Alexanders.


Fire Cherry – it blooms earlier, and is smaller and less common than Black Cherry.


We saw our first Monarch a few days ago.


The fawns are starting to show up on trail cameras, and yesterday we watched one hide in the prairie across from the porch.


The Henslow’s Sparrows are back!  We heard them a few weeks ago, and then couldn’t find them for a while.  But now they’re singing and we see them whenever we walk by.  This one was especially brave.


Henslow’s Sparrow


We’ve been seeing – and hearing – lots of Scarlet Tanagers too.  It’s fairly easy to find them, but more difficult to get a good picture.


The mornings are still cool, and the dew shows off the spider webs.


Dryad’s Saddle – a fungus that’s especially common this year.  These are smaller ones;  many of the ones I see are 12 inches or more across.


A big piece of our biggest Cottonwood tree fell across the cabin road.


Moving it was one afternoon’s project.  Mike was pleased to be able to do the whole job with his electric chainsaw.


Mike has also been working on cutting the stumps from last winter’s logging projects.

This is Hidden Oaks Meadow last December – after the logging was done, but before moving any of the slash.


And this is the way it looks now – after removing the slash, mowing, and cutting the stumps flat to the ground.


I’ve spent nearly a month spraying and pulling Garlic Mustard – one of our most aggressive invasives.   I’m glad that’s done – I’m really ready to move on to a new project.

Garlic Mustard


A friend who likes to raise rare native plants gave me some Wood Lily plants – and one already had a flower.  I’ve planted them very carefully, with fencing to keep the deer out, and hope they’ll do well in their new home.


The moth season started very late this year – I saw my first moths at the very end of April.  Now that the weather is warming, I’m seeing a lot more.  Here are some of my favorites from the last few  weeks.

This was a new species for me – Funerary Dagger.


Pale-veined Isturgia


White Furcula


This is my favorite new moth – it’s about the size of a grain of rice.  Chinquapin Leaf-miner