Journal for May 21, 2019

We keep expecting a transition to summer, but so far it’s still spring – cool and wet, with lots of rainy days and not many moth nights.

Spring leaves in Center Valley


Here are a few of our spring flowers – they’re growing slowly and lasting a long time this year because of the cool temperatures.

Wood Betony – one of the first plants to poke its head above the ground.  The first leaves are always red.


A little later the leaves turn green, and the yellow flowers appear.


Hoary Puccoon


Bird’s Foot Violet


Hill’s Oak (also called Northern Pin Oak) – male flowers and new leaves


Prairie Smoke


I visited a nearby sand prairie last week and found a huge field of Prairie Smoke – more flowers than I’d ever seen before in one place.


Blue-eyed Grass


Pin Cherry


Wild Plum


Marsh Marigolds


This Marsh Marigold plant has double-petaled flowers


This clump of Violet Wood-sorrel was growing on the hill behind the house.  We’ve been clearing brush and trees there for the last few years – encouraging it to turn back into savanna.  Every year I see more savanna plants coming back.


Yellow Star-grass – also growing on the newly cleared hillside


This is a good spring for Red Admiral butterflies.  They spend the winter farther south, and come north when the weather warms.  Some years we don’t see many, but this year their population must have done well, because we’re seeing them everywhere.  This one looks a little battered from its journey.


Red Admirals lay their eggs on Stinging Nettle – the eggs are about the size of the tip of a pencil point.


Evening sun through new spring leaves


Woodchuck watching my window from a tree


A chipmunk in its hole at the bottom of a tree


Here are a few more animals from our trail cameras.

We don’t see badgers often, so it’s always exciting to catch one on camera.


Bobcat – another of my favorites


We’ve been seeing one Wild Turkey – maybe the same one – stretching its wings in front of the camera once a day.


Hidden Oaks Point is greening up – another cleared point that’s gradually turning back into savanna.


Cabin Creek is a good place to watch birds in the spring.  They like to hide in the bushes and bathe in the stream.