More newbies…

The weather is becoming more summer-like with each passing day, and all this warmth has made the bloodroots nearly rocket out of the ground. In previous seasons, I can remember watching the leaves slowly emerge, seemingly for weeks, before they finally bloomed, but not this year. Boom! Here they are!


There’s also a brand-new turtle in the pond, this time a Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii): notice the lack of yellow or red stripes on the side of its face. It is local to the Great Lakes region and is considered to be an endangered species. The local guess is that someone acquired it somehow, no longer wanted it and/or discovered it was illegal to possess, and so deposited it in the Estabrook Park pond along with the painted turtles, red-eared sliders, and giant snapping turtles. Here’s hoping that someone from the DNR can collect it and release it somewhere else where it can continue contributing to the gene pool.


I spotted another butterfly yesterday afternoon, and this one is an American lady (Vanessa virginiensis), which we’ve only seen one other time before.


On the inside/topside, the color scheme is quite different from the outside/bottom side and quite similar to that of the painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui), which we have seen a couple of times before in Estabrook and once in Delft.


Even the toads are up and out already, and here’s one beside the pond. It won’t be long before they all head down to the river for toad-a-palooza.


Now for some birds. Here finally is a decent picture of one of the white-throated sparrows that we’ve been hearing sing Oh Canadadada for the past week or so.


The great horned owl by the river was much further out of its hidey hole this morning and even flashed me those big, beautiful yellows for a moment.


The gray catbird is still hanging out beside the pond, and still hasn’t started singing, but will someday soon, I hope.


Finally, the yellow-bellied sapsuckers are still around, and this is a female, without the red patch on her neck and top of the head that the males sport. She was really lapping up the sap on this birch tree, which have begun running like faucets recently.


And thems the pictures fit to print for today.

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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