Journal archives for November 2021

November 03, 2021

Diversity at Seabourne Creek NP Butterfly Garden

While many of the gardener types ripped and tore at the soil getting rid of weeds, I opted for more purposeful and joyful work instead: logging diversity! The native Conoclinium and Persecaria were clearly the nectar plants of choice, loaded with wasps, butterflies, skippers, and moths. with the fire spike (non-native) being the second-place contender.

I wonder why anyone would plant Bat-faced Cuphea in a butterfly habitat. Besides nectar for wayward hummingbirds, what exactly is the wildlife value of this plant? All I saw were honeybees and carpenter bees -- who outwit the flower's pollination strategy with her clever tactics -- on it for the several minutes in three stretches I observed.

Posted on November 03, 2021 22:10 by dirtnkids dirtnkids | 32 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 25, 2021

'Shoot the Bird' 2021

The kids stayed at home and we brought our friend, Mary, to the coast for our 7th annual Shoot the Bird at Thanksgiving . We began at Anahuac NWR's Chenier Plains Visitor's Center where I was able to ID a new species of Aster: Drummond's. It was relatively quiet, but the spiders were out beyond the boardwalk to be shot with the long lens in low lighting ... never a great combo. Did the best I could with what I had! Shot 'em all.

Turning off to head toward the refuge, we witnessed from the car a red-tailed hawk and adult bald eagle engage in an in-flight kerfuffle. Something to see indeed, but by the time I got out of the car with the camera, the fight was all but over. Shot both guys for good measure as they flew away.

Next we spent several hours exploring the refuge which was relatively free from the non-feathered two-legged species (aka people). All to ourselves! A couple huge flocks of birds flew over: snow geese and white pelican. I ignored the second as I was focused instead on the beautiful juvenile bald eagle flying overhead, begging to shot, I shot him!

We tripped over a sunning cottonmouth. Thankfully, we were looking DOWN and not ups, so no one was bothered by the encounter. The 600mm long lens really comes in handy. I shot him!

Out on the jetties of the auto tour loop, highlights were watching many harriers hunt and flush creatures from the reeds. Fulvous whistling ducks and rosette spoonbills were in great numbers, more than we usually witness. Shot what we could.

We finished up first at Smith Oaks Rookery where we saw some gawd-awful ugly little cormorant babes in many nests there. Had no idea these birds raised families so late in the year. Didn't shoot any, though. Onward to the Boliar Flats Sanctuary because we just couldn't finish the day without shooting all the pretty shorebirds. Looked and looked for Snowy and Piping Plover, but alas, we not only didn't see any, I didn't get to shoot them either.

You're welcome, Mr. Turkey, for keeping your life as yours. Because it is just so unnecessary to exploit and kill another just for a day of gratitude and pleasure. DISCLAIMER: No animals were exploited or killed in our Shoot the Bird Thanksgiving Day outing.

Posted on November 25, 2021 16:16 by dirtnkids dirtnkids | 69 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment