And then there were none…

Welp, we all knew this day would come, but we just didn’t know when. I’ve probably composed this message in my head once a week for the past 3 months, and today is the day I finally need to write it down. After 138 straight days, since March 30, I didn’t see a single thing in Estabrook Park this morning that I thought camera-worthy.

Oh sure, it was a nice morning, the cormorant and a wood duck hen were on the pond, plenty of flowers are in blossom, a few birds were singing, and I even walked past a pretty nonchalant bunny, but there was nothing that we haven’t seen plenty of times before.

Luckily for us, David Boehlke, long-time reader, Anne’s nephew, and forester who lives outside Marquette Michigan, sent in these astounding images, which he managed to capture through the layer of vaseline he keeps on his phone, of a white deer. As with Al, the white sparrow, we’d have to see if the eyes are red to assert it is a true albino.

There are actually a couple of new blossoms in the park, which I photographed yesterday but opted not to include in yesterday’s report for various complex reasons, and the first one is another aster, this time bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla), also looking a little like it’s been through the washing machine.

I’m sure you’ll be thrilled about this next one. Yup, as some of you may have already sensed, the giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) is starting to bloom, mostly along the river, and I probably don’t have to tell most of you that “its pollen is a significant human allergen.”

Finally, here’s weird one. It turns out, according to Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, that “late goldenrod (Solidago altissima with two subspecies) and giant goldenrod (S. gigantea) are subject to three different types of stem galls caused by tiny insects that lay their eggs on the plants. The larva from the hatched egg then eats its way into the stem.” And, “in the case of the rosette gall, the plant creates a dense growth of what looks like small leaves at the top of the plant after a larva hatches at the top of the stem. This rosette is caused by the plant stopping stem growth without stopping leaf production,” and here’s what that looks like.

Okay, back to the big story for today, lack of compelling new content. The good news is that this should give me some time to sort out the calendar details at last. If you haven’t yet voted on your favorite pictures or chimed in on how many calendars you might want, if any, now is the time. Just head over the the calendar page for all the particulars. No pressure whatsoever.

This doesn’t mean I’ll be quitting, or anything like that. Lord knows I still need the long walks for exercise. It just means that posts will probably not be quite so chock full of new discoveries, or we’ll slow the pace down a little from once-a-day. That should also give me time to teach the two civil engineering classes I’m on the hook for at UWM, I have a hope.

Well, let’s go out with something colorful, eh? Who can resist one more image of a monarch butterfly on swamp milkweed? Not me.

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.

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