Sunday, April 19, 2009

Which one doesn't belong?

This spring-- actually, this week-- has been great for wildflowers in Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset counties in New Jersey. I've met another couple who agrees that it has been a bountiful spring. Anyone else?

the wildflower report:
False hellebore leaves are already up. Skunk cabbage leaves are nearly done expanding. Ramps are growing like grass (unbelievable--their colonies are spreading locally, and are appearing in places I don't recall seeing them, again, locally). Dwarf ginseng is just opening. Spring beauty: the first tier of buds open, though closed on Saturday afternoon -- too hot? protecting pollen from drying? The trout lily is like a carpet, some already pollinated and stamen turning dark. Red trillium opened in my garden, never seen any in NJ...yet. Toothwort -- first one open in the Sourlands today. Bloodroot was in bloom on Friday, in seed and in bloom today. False Solomon's seal, Solomon's seal and bellwort are unfurling. I'm sure missed a few.

the bird and butterfly report:
The winter wren greeted us around the nicest bend along Cat Tail Brook. Bluebirds are claiming the nesting box they used last year. Titmice are vocally prowling their territories. Robins are here in large flocks. Flickers are calling regularly. Hermit thrushes are arriving. Yellow rumped and palm warblers are climbing over every buggy branch. Pileated woodpeckers are making a racket. In the vicinity of Cat Tail we heard what I would have called a loon, if I were anywhere near a lake. The call remains a mystery. Mourning cloak butterflies are rare, but I've seen them in a couple places.






Which one doesn't belong?

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