Monday, June 29, 2009

Bird Map

Bird Map

I thought this might come in handy when identifying birds.
Edits mine to fit blog and make it easier to read.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch


MORE 8 Jul 09
Hanging out on "Coneflower Hill."

UPDATE: 16 Jul 09

See also my field notes here.

UPDATE 25 Jul 09
I saw the goldfinch, raised my camera, looked in the optical viewfinder, focused, and, what do we have over to the left? A companion.

That's as good as it gets. She (I'm assuming that's a female) flew away. He stayed for a few more shots then flew away too.

"Goldfinches love the Echinacea seed crop and can clear out all the seed in a few days."

See blog post on Echinacea here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Alfalfa Closeup

My favorite colors, green and purple.
Usually pictures of alfalfa are just not very interesting.
That was until I got this nice telephoto with the creamy background and got a closeup crop of just a very small portion of the plant. I'd never know it was alfalfa, cuz I never look at it this close up. This is fun.

I ran out of memory, so didn't get a full view of the plant.
Google it.

NOTE: See Yellow Sweet Clover

MORE (Roadside):

Walk In The Field Part 11 - Grass2

This stuff was pretty. It was in a clump and stood out greener than the rest of the field grasses.



No crop and still didn't get the whole clump:

The trail:

Possible Identity:
Crested Wheatgrass
Google Images

Walk In The Field Part 10 - Plant Unknown

Unknown plant.

UPDATE: 19 Jul 09

I think the plant is Standing milkvetch:
Species: Astragalus adsurgens Pall. var. robustior Hook.

Astragalus striatus Nutt.,
Astragalus chandonetti Greene

Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family

Lavender Milk-vetch

Google Images

Full plant view:

Walk In The Field Part 9 - Bird

Unknown bird.

I thought it looked like an oriole, but I couldn't find any orioles with a white belly?
I'll update this post if I ever find out what it is and/or get a better pic.

It's a Spotted Towhee.


Alternative name: Rufous-sided Towhee
Rufous-sided Towee would refer to both East and West Tohees.
Spotted Towhee would refer to only the West Tohee.

Walk In The Field Part 8 - Grasses

Just some pretty grass pics.
No id.

This next one had a lot of "glitter" in it. The grass had moisture beads on it and the sunshine was making it glisten/glitter. Beautiful stuff. I took the pics facing the morning sun (East), which gave it a very golden color.

Here's some closeup grass glitter crops, my back is to the sun this time and it's West, so it's a different color, but sun is still shining on it and making it glitter.

The dew drops are lit up and glowing on this one:

Walk In The Field Part 7 - Yarrow

Common Yarrow

Common yarrow
Summer Wildflowers
(Achillea millefolium)

Asteraceae (The Aster Family)

(Achillea millefolium)
A snippet:
"Yarrow has an extensive and interesting literature. The plant or decoctions made from it have been recommended as a cure for sores, toothaches, and diseases of the lungs, bladder, and kidneys; a local anesthetic; a stomach and nerve tonic an ingredient in salads and soups; a tobacco substitute.

Most intriguing is that a random selection of stalks of the humble yarrow was selected by the ancient Chinese sages as the means to consult the oracles of the I Ching or Book of Changes. This compendium arose from mythical antiquity and contains the seasoned wisdom of thousands of years of human history. Most scholars consider the book one of the most important in world literature.

Yarrow is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The healing powers of yarrow were said to have been discovered by the Greek warrior Achilles. The specific epithet millefolium means "thousand leaved" in botanical Latin."

Uncropped view (This is teensy stuff):


Cool version:


Field View:

Walk In The Field Part 6 - Bee

Usually those yellow flowers (Tragopogon Salsify) were just one individual one here and there. Then I saw 4 of them together.

And what do we have here?...

A GREEN bee..?..

I've never seen one of those before.
So I had to google that too.
Long story short, I think it's a sweat bee.
Family Halictidae - Sweat Bees

Maybe one of those Metallic Green Bees
Tribe Halictini
Genus Agapostemon - Metallic Green Bees

Walk In The Field Part 5 - Yellow Flower

What struck me about this flower was the 8 point star on a lot of them. It just really stood out on some that were not opened all the way.

Not all of them had 8 points, however.

This next one is all open (center and outer), not as dramatic or interesting.

And yet another one, closed center, open outer, yet the star shape is still prominent.

And here we have the full length view:

This one was difficult to track down cuz I could not find it listed at npwrc.

I think that's because it is a not a native plant.
It's an alien! lol

Anyhoo...somehow I landed at this interesting site that offers to sell you a book where you can learn botany in a day.
Sounds good. lol
It is highly rated and cheaper at Amazon.
All his books are highly rated. I might have to buy some of those.

I figured the yellow flower was in the aster family so I went to that section.

Scroll down, and viola! There it is.
Identified as a Tragopogon spp., Salsify or "oyster plant."

So then, I did find a write up about it at the Fargo
ndsu ag site.
Common Name: Goat's beard, Western salsify
Species: Tragopogon dubius Scop.
Synonym: Tragopon major Jacq.
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Origin: Introduced species from Eurasia.

So I'm happy. It grows in North Dakota. Salsify, Tragopogon--close enough.

NOTE: Pics taken Fri 26 Jun 09. On Sun 28 Jun 09 they were gone. Not a yellow flower in sight. It was windy Saturday. Stormed Friday night?

Walk In The Field Part 4 - Penstemon Gracilis

Slender penstemon (Penstemon gracilis)
Slender Beardtongue (Penstemon gracilis)

single sterile stamen
four fertile stamens as well
Greek paene, "almost", and stamon, "thread" (filament) or "almost a stamen."
Gracilis means "slender" in botanical Latin.

Scrophulariaceae (The Figwort Family)

More Penstemons listed at Figwort Family link above and also here.

Penstemon gracilis = Lilac Beardtongue
Penstemon australis = Slender Beardtongue
figwort or snapdragon family
48 results for penstemon search
12 results if narrowed down to plains region

Google images on penstemon gracilis.

Walk In The Field Part 3 - Unknown Hairy

It stood out and was in its prime.

I loved the hairiness of it, which extended all the way down and into the leaves.

Best pic of the bud/blossom:


UPDATE: Tue 30 JUN 09

Aha! "Hairy" is a coneflower.

It's gonna be coneflower heaven out there pretty soon. Stay tuned.

npwrc ref:
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
Purple Coneflower (ref2)

Walk In The Field Part 2 - Thistle

A thistle in its prime.

Flodman's Thistle (Cirsium flodmanii)
Wavyleaf Thistle (Cirsium undulatum)

Asteraceae (The Aster Family)

More Thistles:

And here's one I found by the road. "Bushy Von Haven" (I'm into these, can you tell.)

View from the top: