Journal for July 2003

7/12, 7/13/03
We mowed a trail through East Center Valley Prairie – and startled a turkey on a nest.  Later, when we went by, we noticed there were fewer eggs in the nest.  And even later the eggs were gone.  We found a path in the grass, so I think she moved them to a safer spot.  We also found a nest of baby rabbits – right in the middle of the path.  The mom was nursing them and then ran away so we saw them squirming to hide down in the nest.  They were very small and soft.

This week there are even more butterflies on the driveway.

7/19, 7/20, 7/21/03
Not many butterflies on the driveway anymore – but there are lots in the fields – Great Spangled Fritillaries and Monarchs – but none of the ones that were so common along the road.

7/26, 7/27, 7/28/03
I brought out a butterfly bush to plant in front of the porch – a fritillary found it right away, and it’s an Aphrodite Fritillary.  The first time I’ve ever seen one – here or anywhere.

It looks like the bluebirds have another family – the adults are bringing food – this time to the second house.

Hummingbirds like the butterfly bush too – I may get some more of them.

Another new plant:  Elymus trachycaulus (or Agropogon trachycaulum) – Slender Wheatgrass – on Sumac Corner Prairie.

I found Illinois Tick-trefoil blooming in West Center Valley Prairie – the first time I’ve ever seen it at all.  It’s more open than Canada Tick-trefoil, with longer petioles on the leaves, and a taller, more spread out inflorescence.

It’s hot – 90 degrees and very humid yesterday.  We used the air conditioning for the fist time – it works fine.  It’s still 90 degrees today, but not so humid.  Still too hot to do much outside.

We heard 3 screech owls last night – Mike heard one, and then I got them all calling with the tape.  Then, at about 2 in the morning there was one calling right outside our bedroom.

We also saw a family of Bobolinks in Western Center Valley Prairie.