Plenty of flowers and critters about…

A lot of cool new things to cover on this beautiful summer morning, so let me get right to it. First up are a couple of reader photos of the week, “sent in” by Donna, a keen observer and long-time reader. By “sent in”, I mean she invited me to stop by and bring my camera. ūüėä

On the left is a tiny hummingbird nest high up in a honey locust tree in her front yard, and on the right is a little American red squirrel¬†(Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)¬† under a bird feeder in her backyard. Sadly, I never spotted a bird on the nest, although I did see one shoot through the back yard. I’ve seen both critters in the park but have only managed a bad picture of a hummingbird so far, so I was glad to add these to our portfolio.

There are several new blossoms out, and let’s start with the pinks. On the left looks to be Japanese meadowsweet (Spiraea japonica), and on the left looks to be perennial peavine or¬†everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius).

In white, we have yarrow¬†(Achillea millefolium) on the left, and Queen Anne’s lace¬†(Daucus carota) on the right. Doesn’t the Queen Anne’s lace just make it feel like high summer?

Plenty of new creepy-crawlies, too. On the left is the fabled inch-worm, which I can’t yet identify any more precisely, and on the right is a good sized (3-4 inch) and quite handsome slug who looks to be a great grey slug¬†aka¬†leopard slug (Limax maximus), which I read literally means “biggest slug”.

In keeping with that theme, we’ve got another American toad¬†(Anaxyrus americanus) on the left, which we’ve seen before, but with much more green and yellow. Our hero this morning looked almost black at first, and so I checked with the Pedia of Wik to find “skin color can change depending on habitat colors, humidity, stress, and temperature. Color changes range from yellow to brown to black, from solid colors to speckled.” Who knew?

On the right, the ants are up to something! My best guess so far is a battle between colonies of pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum), and I’m not making this up! If you don’t believe me, and I wouldn’t blame you, click on one of the links and read about it for yourself.

Well, there are plenty of more pictures; some new yellow blossoms, some new thistles, some new mushrooms; but I’m out of time, and I’d better keep them in reserve, as Anne suggests, for the morning when I come up with nothin’ new for ya.

Oh yeah, before I forget. The Shorewood Farmers Market seemed to go off without a hitch yesterday. There appeared to be over 30 vendors and plenty of visitors with masks. Best of all, the park looks no worse for the wear this morning. Yay, and kudos to the organizers!

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.

3 thoughts on “Plenty of flowers and critters about…

  1. Hey, Andy – good morning! Yes, the Farmers Market was great yesterday. Glad to live close enough to walk over. I wonder if it’s just my screen, but when you post pictures and say “the one on the left . . . . the one on the right” that’s not the way I see them. For me it’s the top one, and the bottom one. Just wondering . . . .


    1. That’s a “feature” somewhere in the process of converting what I put on the website into an email message. Sorry about that. I’ll try using “left/top” and “right/bottom”.


  2. I am so impressed with your eye for even the smallest bits of nature. Love your dialogue. Love that you identify what’s in your pics. Wonderful!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: