What a bunch of babies…

Yesterday, long-time reader Dan stopped by, and we went on a field trip down the west side of the river to North Ave and back up the east side, about 3 miles round trip in the fabulous Milwaukee River Greenway. I brought my camera, just in case, and am sure glad I did, but let’s chalk these images up to Dan, who spotted the subjects first anyway, so we can enjoy them as guest photos even though they’re technically not from Estabrook Park.

They are, of course, in the order Dan spotted them, a few nearly-mature Canada geese, a deerlet still wearing its spots, and a baby robin who can fly if it needs to but seemed to prefer not. I don’t know if those are our goslings from the pond, but let’s suppose that they are, and I sure made another bird parent upset with me, so that’s twice in one day. I’d better wear a hat outside for a while, just to be on the safe side.

Meanwhile, back in Estabrook Park proper, there has been a whole lot of blossoming going on.

From left to right, we’ve got:

all growing on the steep slope from the beer garden down to the river.

There’s also Solomon’s seal and its impostors:

from left to right

  • Solomon’s seal, smooth Solomon’s-seal, or great Solomon’s-seal, (Polygonatum biflorum), which has taken forever to open and has leaves that look just like the
  • false Solomon’s seal, Solomon’s plume, treacleberry, feathery false lily of the valley, or false spikenard (Maianthemum racemosum), and
  • little false Solomon’s seal, star-flowered Solomon’s seal, starry Solomon’s seal, simply false Solomon’s seal, star-flowered lily-of-the-valley, or starry false lily of the valley (Maianthemum stellatum).

The latter two have already blossomed in the park weeks ago.

Want a little more color? We’ve got that, too.

Here we have, from left to right:

  • bittersweet nightshade, field bindweed, bittersweet, bitter nightshade, blue bindweed, Amara Dulcis, climbing nightshade, fellenwort, felonwood, poisonberry, poison flower, scarlet berry, snakeberry, trailing bittersweet, trailing nightshade, violet bloom, or woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) growing in various locations. Yikes, that’s a lot of aliases, and some of them don’t sound so good, but even the Village of Shorewood lists it as a noxious weed and invasive species, so maybe that’s why.
  • wild rose, smooth rose, meadow rose, or prairie rose (Rosa blanda) growing at the bottom of the bluff below the beer garden, and
  • common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort, or blue curls (Prunella vulgaris), of which the Pedia of Wik reports “self-heal is edible: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the plant in whole can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a beverage.” Furthermore “the plant is considered by the Chinese to ‘change the course of a chronic disease’; is commonly used for sore throats and halitosis; and is one of the main ingredients of popular commercial Chinese herbal tea;” so there’s that. It is starting to blossom in the lawn south of the pond.

That’s probably enough names and traits for now. Remember, this will all be on the quiz scheduled for next Tuesday.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

One thought on “What a bunch of babies…

  1. Your posts brighten my day. I have my friend Chris McAuliffe to thank for the recommendation

    Joan Wessel

    Sent from Outlook



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