Friday, August 14, 2009

A Harassing hummingbird and a new life-list flower!

This morning I noticed some activity in the branches of the Black Gum tree behind our house. A small bird, possibly a Bluegray Gnatcatcher was being harassed by a male Ruby-throat Hummingbird! He dived at the other bird repeatedly even when it flew to another branch.
Later this afternoon I attached the camera to my spotting scope and waited on the patio for a hummingbird to come to the feeder. Finally, I heard a familiar "chittering" sound and soon saw a male hummer on the branch of a nearby tree. My spotting scope does not take as clear and sharp photos as I would like, but it beats spending several thousand dollars for an 800mm telephoto lens!

I went out to Freels Bend today to take some photos of the area for an upcoming AMSE outreach class. We teach our outdoor classes at the 200+ year-old cabin there. While I was out there I saw a male and female Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-tailed hawk and bluebirds in the trees. When I went into the field to look for signs of deer and rabbits, I noticed a small, puffy white flower. It was one I hadn't seen before. I looked it up when I got home and found out it is a Prairie Mimosa (Desmanthus illinoensis). The plant has a very unusual seedpod that looks like dry, twisted brown pea pods.

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