6/7, 6/8, 6/9/03
New flowers blooming: Anemone cylindrical, False Solomon’s Seal, White Camas (almost blooming), and in Sumac Prairie: Spiked Lobelia, Fleabane (?) and 2 small purple flowers. Krigia biflora (Starflower Opening).
We saw an Orchard Oriole on some willows near 88 – a beautiful adult male.
There was a Giant Swallowtail on the path to Sumac Prairie – a female laying eggs. I collected one of the eggs, so I can try raising the caterpillar.
The Red Spotted Purples must have hatched today – they’re all over the driveway.
6/14, 6/15, 6/16/03
Two new plants – one new for the farm as well as for me: Silene antirrhina, Sleepy Catchfly – I found it on one of the rock ledges behind the house. And Yellow Pimpernel – Taenidia integerrima – I saw it along 88, on the north side, in the ditches.
There are lots of Red Spotted Purples on the driveway these days – with a few White Striped ones (White Admirals), and a few Viceroys. I saw several Giant Swallowtails – one a female laying eggs. The egg I collected last week hasn’t hatched yet.
One new plant that’s coming up on the ledges behind the house – Purple Prairie Clover. And Spiderwort is blooming there – I haven’t seen it blooming in any of the other planted prairies.
I found Yellow Pimpernel growing along Willow Road – so I can list it in the Inventory. Also Lathyrus venosus, also along Willow Road. Another new plant is Calystegia spithamaea – Upright (or Low) Bindweed – a beautiful big white “morning glory” flower on the Knife Edge Prairie.
6/21, 6/22, 6/23/03
The Spiked Lobelia and White Camas are blooming. I found a (leaf only) plant of Prairie Ragwort along the path below Indian Grass Prairie.
The bluebird babies are almost ready to leave the nest. We watched the strategy – the parents stopped feeding them for a little while. Then they flew in large circles, all around the nest, stopping periodically to give a very rattly call. They tried for about half an hour – calling and waiting. The babies would poke their heads out of the house, but weren’t ready to come all the way out. So the parents went back to feeding them.
I saw a pair of Scarlet Tanagers in the Box Elders across from the house.
6/28, 6/29, 6/30/03
The bluebirds are gone – I cleaned out the house and the parents have been back to check things out – maybe we’ll get another batch this year. A wren has finally managed to build a nest in the farthest house – he sings constantly, but no eggs yet. The first house by the garage has a tree swallow nest carefully lined with beautiful curved white feathers. The swallow sits in it, but there are no eggs. And the second house by the garage has a wren nest – no eggs. The house out at the front by Pine Point Prairie has a family of tree swallows.
Phil and Virginia came this weekend and stayed one night – nice to inaugurate the guest room. We had a great time – lots of music, and some long walks.
There are hundreds of butterflies on the driveway – more than I’ve ever seen. They fly up as you walk through them, and some of them hit you with their wings – an odd feeling.
The ones on the driveway are:
Silver Spotted Skippers
Red Spotted Purples
American Painted Ladies
Great Spangled Fritillaries
Others that we’re seeing in the fields are:
Mike mowed the septic system field – it looks like a lawn – and the bottom of Pine Point Field, and the wetland in front of that – to try to get rid of some Wild Parsnip.
I found a great plant growing in both East Center Valley Prairie and Pine Point Prairie – Penstemon digitalis. I didn’t plant it – so it came hidden in some of the seeds I bought.
Jackie and I walked on her prairie hill and found loads of Polygala polygama growing in the sun, right on top.
We saw several deer families – does with one or two fawns. The fawns chase each other across the mowed grass.