Hello everyone! I’ve been away a bit (schooling and applying for a program in zoology), but I’m back, and I have some flower photos for you to gaze upon today to rest your weary mind. It’s May Day, the first of May and harbinger of spring (and therefore.. SUMMER!). While folks at my alma mater are running around naked, plants in the lower plains of the sagebrush steppe of Central Oregon to blossom. It’s still cold as all get-out some nights (the peonies are drooping so sadly this morning), but we have that nice blazing sun during the day. Enjoy!
For those of you that may not know, magnolias are one of my all-time favorite blossoms. While none of them grow in Central Oregon, they are abundant just on the other side of the Cascades in Portland, where I’ve been spending a fair amount of time. I managed to grasp just a few images in my travels of the magnificent flowers.
Thanks for visiting and happy Wednesday to you!
A peak at Vision Quest camp 2012, hosted by Four Winds Foundation, dedicated to continuing the traditional ways of our ancestors. Learn more at http://www.fwfoundation.com!
roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.
On a blazing hot Sunday several weeks ago, I visited one of the most amazing spots in Central Oregon, a state park called Smith Rock State Park. It’s a haven for rock climbers, as tall cliff faces shoot into the air at steep angles and varying sizes. For hikers like me, it’s a spot of sagebrush steppe with meandering trails and an array of plants and critters that can keep one occupied all day. It was a beautiful day in the rocks and always an education: as I sat on a sun-baked rock enjoying my lunch, I glanced down to see that I had chosen a spot which ants had chosen long before me. I’d disturbed their home, and they were haphazardly scurrying across both of my feet and up my legs. I leapt into the air, squawking and dancing and stomping like a madwoman. It’s a shame I don’t have it on video. After apologizing profusely for killing several of their tribesmen in my surprise and panic, I offered them a hunk of my lunch. They examined it and, after deeming it unworthy, returned to their subterranean home. Apparently ants don’t care for fried fish.
Today’s word is:
Sciency Definition: A member of the order Passeriformes, the largest group of the class Aves.
Or I could have said: Perching bird.
What’s it do? Members of the order Passeriformes are the perching birds, which include more than half of the living species of birds. They each possess feet adapted for perching or clinging. “Song birds” are all passerines but not all passerines are song birds; song birds just have the best use of the muscles used for creating vocalizations (the syrinx). Some song birds, instead of singing, create an incredible range of sounds including clicks, croaks, and mimics of sounds they hear in their environments.
Example sentence: Despite being categorized as passerines, crows and ravens do not use their syrinx muscles to produce songs.
To see a video of one of the greatest passerine mimics on the planet, click here to watch a video of the Australian Lyrebird in action.
I recently got to go home to the East Coast for the first time in a year and was overwhelmed with joy for seeing my family! My niece has grown so incredibly much in just one year, and she’s now becoming all kinds of independent. I was able to visit with two of my three brothers and spend a great deal of time with my Momma Bird, who is simply one of my favorite people in the world (and not just ‘cuz she tells me I’m awesome and makes me food. But that’s definitely part of it).
I hope you all are having a good February. Thanks for tuning in and here are some photos from my trip home! Happy Wednesday!
I’m quite ecstatic to be hosting my very first blog carnival, so merry berry to ME! Thanks to the team at BGR!
It’s unseasonably warm for December here in Central Oregon, and this is one naturalist that is not complaining. (Though I have to keep my mouth shut around the skiiers, they’re a testy bunch.) To celebrate the sunshine, we’re going to look at some decidedly warm-timey articles that focus on pollination. Because, dammit, I need flowers in the winter.
Thanks for reading. Away we go!
The Old Drone (love the name!) wants you to know just how fascinating it is that tomatoes are self-pollenizing. Which is different than self-pollinating!
Bug Girl kindly gives a review of the new app for selecting plants for your region, developed with pollinators in mind.
Zen at the NeuroDojo reviews a paper that looks deeper into the idea of flower color as a necessity for pollinator attraction.
Slugyard helps us understand lupine pollination and even gives us a video to watch! Wah hoo!
The Carnivorous Plant Blog shows us a beautiful image of Darlingtonia‘s bits and a brief, simple method of pollinating the little darling. (Har!)
And finally, this post over at the Field Notebook just made me completely lose touch with reality and drift off into a daydream of spring, blooms, and the buzzing of bees and hummingbirds.. zzz.. bzzzz…
[blink] Anyway! To contribute something of my own, here’s a pic of a happy little bee getting a face full of lavender that I took two summers ago. Mmmm, summer.. flowers.. bees.. sunshine..
IS IT SPRING YET?!
Be sure to visit Berry Go Round’s main page, and, just for fun, I’ve added a few extras to get your springtime spirit bouncing around. Enjoy and happy blogging!
Web Exhibits explores the relationship between butterflies and color.
Longwood Gardens offers a fun, interactive site for you (or your children) to build their own flowers and learn about pollination.
The US Forest Service has a lot of great info, pics, and ideas on their Celebrating Wildflowers site! Check it out!
As per usual, this holiday season has been busy busy buzzing for me – working, sewing for the Etsy shop, sewing holiday gifts in lieu of buying presents – it’s been fun, but am I tired. Sunka has been a good, patient pup through this bonanza of activity, so I treated him to a hike in one of my favorite spots along the river. After 3 miles he was ready for more, but the cold wind and warm sun insisted that I immediately go home and nap. I got out the old Hipstamatic for fun. Happy solstice!