The Madagascar malachite kingfisher looks similar to the malachite kingfisher found in South Africa, but according to our Animals of Madagascar book, it’s a different species that’s found only in Madagascar and the Comoros islands. Read more
Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) looks a little like a giraffe tongue when it first emerges in the spring. Only pink. Read more
Today was the first day I noticed the wild cherries blooming along the river. Whether you call them chokecherries, hackberries or birdcherries, they are beautiful in bloom and a produce a wonderful fruit for cooking. Read more
There are at least two species of Jacob’s ladder: Polemonium reptans and Polemonium caeruleum. The first is native to the northeastern United States, while the latter is from Eurasia and should be limited to gardens in North America. I’m not great at telling the difference, but since this specimen is part of a native plant restoration at a local park, I’ll guess it’s Polemonium reptans.
I found some photos I forgot to post on Saturday. Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) aren’t actually from Siberia, but to the southwest of it in Russia, the Caucuses, and Turkey. I wonder what kind of squill we’d have today if the Dutch had gone wild for squill in the sixteenth century instead of tulips. Virgina bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are from Virginia—along with … Read more
I had fun lying on the ground and taking pictures of the mayapples and bloodroot today. Some of the bloodroot flowers are already open, but I didn’t think to take clear pictures of them. Too fascinated by the way they come up with the leaves wrapped in tight little bundles but fully formed along with the flower … Read more
On the third day of spring, we saw another redtail hawk. And I had the camera with me this time! I maxed out the zoom and the photo was still blurry. I’d say I should get camera with a higher zoom, but then I’ll start maxing out that zoom and want one that’s even better. It’s a Sisyphean quest. It was … Read more
Remember what I said on the first day of spring about bringing my real camera with me when I go out? I didn’t mean when I go running—so of course interesting birds showed a plenty. First it was a bald eagle overhead. Then I spotted this tiny little bird of prey about the size of a mourning dove. It was … Read more