Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Carolina Cranesbill (Cranesbill caroliniana), Spotted Cat's Ear (Hypochoeris radicata), Venus' Looking Glass (Triodanis perfoliata)

We had a great walk this morning! A fresh breeze left over from yesterday's storms blew in from the west and made the shady side of the pipeline feel cool. One step into the sun and I felt hot, and just right for butterflies. Silver-spotted Skippers, Tiger Swallowtails, Azures, and a Great Spangled Fritillary fluttered around me as we headed down hill. Lots of plants are flowering now, including Pasture Rose, Coreopsis, Honeysuckle, Crimson Clover (left by the pipeline workers), Ragwort, as well as others. The bright red leaves of the Carolina Cranesbill attracted my attention and at closer inspection, its seeds fascinated me, so I sat to draw in a patch of thick, glossy grass. The blades towered over my head once I settled, so that my view of the world reminded me of what it would be like to be a deer, curled up for the night in a similar nest. Birds sang in the trees around me - most exciting was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo's distinctive call - Ku-ku-ku-ku-ku-ku-ku-ku KALP KALP KALP!

The Venus' Looking Glass and Spotted Cat's Ears (both non-natives) were growing near the native Cranesbill, so I drew them too. The VLG had been nibbled and was missing its usual top spire.

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