Today Nature Woman (Pam) made a trip out to Allegany State Park to visit and do some hiking! Even though it was cold and cloudy outside . . . . we still had a fun day hiking through the park looking for many fall wildflowers to photograph. (more…)
The picture above was stolen from “Nature Knitter Blog” (Sorry Ruth)!. But there is reason for me doing so (really there is a reason)! Ok, here is the story! While catching up on everyone’s blog postings . . . . last Tuesday Ruth did a post where she said “No time for a post tonight. See you tomorrow with jelly pictures!” And of course . . . . me being the dumb ass that I am . . . . I say “send a jar my way? Hmmm”!! Then on Wednesday Ruth posted this picture of her amazing Grape Jelly that she made!! I really do need someone to sensor what I type because I was thinking with my stomach and said “Looks like the one on the far left wasn’t filled up all the way. You really shouldn’t save that one so please feel free to send it off this way! LOL!”. O – Ruth . . . . you sure are a sweetheart!! I bet you can’t guess what ended up in my mail box this evening? (more…)
I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day holiday this weekend. Of course my little buddy Young Naturalist J’s family and other friends were camping here in Allegany this weekend. They are always soo good to me and did someone say fun? . . . . I will let the following pictures show you how much fun we had!! (more…)
Even though I’m a major tree lover from the time I could climb them, I also love the large diversity of plants and other living things that grow on and underneath trees, including wildflowers, club moss, mushrooms, moss, lichens, liverworts, horsetails and ferns.
Ferns were just interesting green things I used to appreciate but never really thought about identifying until I took a field botany course and found out identifying ferns is really not hard at all! The best book for identifying ferns is Fern Finder, by Anne C. Hallowell and Barbara G. Hallowell.
This particular book is a guide for native ferns of central and northeastern US and Eastern Canada. There is the Pacific Coast Fern Finder, also.
One fern that doesn’t need keying out is the Interrupted Fern (Osmunda Claytoniana). While I read and learned about this unique fern for my class, I never imagined when I first saw it growing at Allegany State Park in May that it would be as tall as it was at that time. The fronds (“leaves”) can grow up to six feet long! Interrupted fern has fertile pinnae (“leaflets”) “interrupting” sterile pinnae in the center of each frond. There are usually two to four pairs of fertile pinnae with dark brown sporangia when they’re ripe. They wither and fall, leaving vacant spots on the leaf stem after midsummer. Here’s what the fertile pinnae looked like at Allegany State Park on May 26th: (more…)
While Young Naturalist C was in Cape Cod watching Whales and having a good time at the beach . . . . those of us back in Allegany State Park were butterfly sitting her caterpillars/chrysalis while she was off on vacation. Just last Thursday her oldest Monarch Butterfly emerged from its chrysalis (who Young Naturalist C named Lulu) and so I asked her mother if I could tag my first monarch (C couldn’t be around to tag it). (more…)
Click on the photo to see the finished painting
CHECK THIS OUT!! “Toni” from Erie PA sent me an email last week requesting permission to paint one of my photos! Then I waited to see the wonderful painting that she would create (I just love her paintings on her blog)! . . . . . Yesterday evening while browsing my RSS feeds . . . . I stumbled over this astounding series of paintings she had done on her blog! She did such an amazing job on these cute little Barn Swallows that I needed to blog her posting! . . . . Please check out her blog at A Spattering to see the finished painting! Thanks Toni for making my day with your amazing work! (more…)
ONE HUGE SCREAM!!
Things have been so hectic recently but I am starting to see everything getting back to normal! Work’s craziness is over, banding data has been going good and I don’t have many obligations for the next few months. My current goal is to get back to birding, nature photography and do some real writing here on this blog. (more…)
Dragonfly Eye gave me a call yesterday and asked if I wanted to join him in search of the Boghaunter. If you are not familiar of the Boghaunter (I wasn’t), it is a rare Dragonfly that is frequently found in areas associated with bogs. Jeremy informed me that none of the Boghaunter species have ever been found at Allenburg Bog (Cattaraugus County, NY) area. He wanted to visit the bog to see if we could find any of them flying yet. Of course I am always up for an adventure and couldn’t resist in also taking the time to look for newly arrived warblers! (more…)
Being a licensed bird bander requires you to not only know your birds but ultimately collected the data in the most scientific way possible. That includes being 100% sure about the species that you are banding or you are required to release the bird without a band on it. This is something as a bander that you would rarely want happening!! A fellow Bird Bander (and Western New Yorker) David Junkin captured this very unique bird that he couldn’t identify. He was stumped after reviewing the many field guides and other resources available to him. He took many measurements, photographs (every angle) and then released the unbanded bird without knowing if he would capture it again.
Spider photo by kirispupis
It has been such a busy week for me and I am trying to get things done before the weather gets better. Just seems like everything is happening at once!! I did get out today and checked all the bluebird boxes before all the birdies start building their nest. My stomach dropped as soon as (more…)
I started getting spring fever (again) after taking my lunch break yesterday (temps were in the 70’s). Something told me to get my butt outside and start search for butterflies!! At 1:30 I took off from work and drove over to the Wolf Run area of Allegany State Park (one of my favorite butterfly spots). In about 1 1/2 hour’s time I had found 17 species of birds and a few wildflowers peaking out of the ground. Leaks were really teasing me and YES, their odor did follow me for the rest of the night. I saw the leaves of trout lilies, toothwort and something else that could have been spring beauties peaking out of the ground. Leaving my favorite little forested flower area, I heard a Barred Owl vocalizing in the middle of the day (about 3pm)! A second owl some distance away began responding back (who cooks for you? who cooks for you all?). (more…)
Is it under the rock or under the log, just maybe it is located right next to where you are standing? Geocaching has become today’s modern scavenger hunt. To the unknown geocaching eye, you probably have one across from your local grocery store or in your local park. Some people find the hide within seconds and the next person could spend hours searching. What makes this sport fun is that you never know what you will find until you start searching. Geocaching could take you too many locations you would have never visited without the encouragement of finding that cache. (more…)
As promised, I have finally gotten around to writing something about Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). My interest in this flower started late last week when two of my friends were posting pictures of their first of the year wildlfower; Jennifer photo 1, photo 2, and photo 3 & Salamanderdance photo 1 and photo 2. But, after thinking about it, this isn’t my first wildflower for 2007. In January before the 2007 “Ice Age”, I saw dandelions growing out on the lawn. So, this really is my 2nd flower species for 2007 but, does very much feel like my 1st flower also this year.
You might ask why this is a remarkable wildflower? (more…)
Not sure if everyone has noticed that many of our fellow flickr friends have changed the look of their photostream! If you view flickr’s blog at you will see that they have given us flickr folks some options that we have been begging for (for quite some time now)!
First, take you many similar sets and you now can create a collection of those sets! I took all my wildlife sets and made a Wildlife Collection. Just use your organizer to make the collection and is as easy as pie! Also, flickr has given us the option of changing your page layout! View my photostream or just go to this link to change yours.
Yeah for flickr!
BTW: Going to try and work on the Skunk Cabbage article this evening!
Goldfinch visiting me just outside the Administration Building here in Allegany State Park, NY
Took the Wordless Wednesday idea from Barbara. Wait, have I said too much already?? Darn!
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has just taken a big step into the blog world. I was lucky to watch the development of this blog over the past few months and proud for the opportunity to announce this to my nature blogging friends!! So be sure to add this site to your blog roll (or RSS feed) or you might miss something essential to the study of nature!
If you’re not familiar with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI), they have been named in honor of America’s preeminent naturalist of the twentieth century (Roger Tory Peterson)!! The Institute is based in Jamestown, NY which is also the birthplace of Dr. Peterson (and just around the corner from where I live). To hear more about the many programs, exhibits, special events or even their numerous collections, visit the blog at http://www.rtpi.org .
Last Friday the lake effect snow parked itself over the Southern Tier (WNY) which resulted in probably more than 6 inches of fluffy white snow. Accidents were happening all over the place and it was decided that our Cattaraugus County Bird Club was going to cancel our meeting scheduled for that evening. Being stuck in the house with nothing to do, I decided work on a new blog that I have wanted to do for a while now called “birdQUIZ”!!
I then spent many hours this weekend working on some of my end of the year reports due any day now. Ok, behind because of flickr and my blog world that have been taking up much of my extra time that I have (which I did end up finishing the reports about 11pm last evening). But, I did find some time for a few pictures of some birdies at the feeder and have a few “feeder” stories that maybe I can get around to posting. I now need to focus my time on a PowerPoint program that I need to complete for the many birdclubs, nature study clubs, ect.. scheduled across the Southern Tier this spring. I promise to try to take some brakes and visit your blog or photostream here in the near future.
BTW:!! birdQUIZ isn’t a blog that I plan on updating daily but it is a place that I plan on including fun birdQUIZ pictures that I have taken from time to time. So, be sure to add it to your RSS feed for any updates that I do. Check it out at http://birdquiz.wordpress.com.
After 15 hours without power and 24 hours without phone service; I am back on the internet blogging and flickering. Power was lost to numerous individuals in New York State due to strong winds and heavy rain taking down many high voltage power lines. The phone service was lost from a very large Beech Tree that fell on the lines not far from where my owl mist nets were set up. This photo below was taken of the windstream crew working on restoring my phone service. I don’t think they were having an easy time repairing it but its working perfectly now.
After reflecting the evening, I continued to think about the 200,000 people that lost their power in Buffalo almost two months ago. It was only 15 hours but those from Buffalo had to survive over a week without electricity or phones. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before the power was restored but how could I not be concerned about my food in the refrigerator. A few things ended up in the back of my pickup (in the snow) and I just gorged myself with soft ice cream. (Now I need to pull out the treadmill since the power has been restored.)
Backpacking and or going camping, you find yourself prepared for all essentials to be gone. You actually leave to get away from those important daily gadgets that take over your life. I found this to be such bad timing for the numerous wonderful things about to happen. The bird club canceled our field trip to Niagara Falls looking for Gulls (will reschedule this here soon), had to cancel my haircut (starting to look like a shaggy dog) and I almost missed jennimi blogging this site!! Jennimi is a librarian at the University at Buffalo and she also loves her music, teaching, family, nature, and blogging! Please take the time to visit her blog at http://jennimi.wordpress.com.
What I learned is to always be prepared for the worse and I am glad that things are starting to get back to normal. I plan on doing some birding tomorrow and then wait out the next wave of weather that should be hitting us in the evening. – uggg