Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Bona Dea received very little rain in the past 2 days. Most of state got more than around here. I was walking at the park on Sunday, 10-24-10, and saw some unusual wildflowers and then went to my vehicle and got the camera. The leaves on the trees around here have not really turned real pretty this year so far. But the sumac bushes never fail to provide their brilliant red shine. This bush,photo, is a Smooth or Scarlet Sumac. This one was by the Dike that separates Lake Dardanelle from Bona Dea Sanctuary. The photo showing the red spike flowers which look like firecrackers is called a Lady's Thumb. By the Pumping Station. If you enlarge the photo and look at the leaf in the middle of the photo and then look at the middle of the leaf and you w ill see a dark spot. People of long ago thought this looked like a lady's thumb and hence called it such. Kinda interesting don't you think. The photo with the small yellow bloom is a Common Purslane wildflower. By the Pumping Station. This bloom had actually closed up but when opened would have 5 petals. The plant this bloom was on is here too. The photo showing the pinkish spider shaped blooms is a Blue Mistflower wildflower. The actual color to the naked eye is a solid light blue. Other photos I have seen on the internet shows a pinkish color. But this was a small patch of flowers, photo, seen only at this spot by the Pumping Station. .
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The past few days have been sunny and unusually warm for this time of year. Also below average for rainfall. Tonight and tomorrow it is suppose to rain. Hope so. The water level is really low all over the creeks and ponds. The birds have been coming back in to the park. Woodpeckers and nuthatches and chickadees and blue jays and boat tailed grackles. Wood ducks also in the creek and water ponds. Aster wildflowers are all over the place right now. The photo showing the many lavender or blue daisy like blooms is called a Common Blue Wood Aster or Heartleaf Aster-Symphyotrichum cordifolium. Pardon the white shoe.The photo showing the green leaves is of this type of plant. The pic with the many white blooms is a bushy Mayweed. This is a variety of Aster.This clump of flowers had all varieties of flies, wasps and bees all over it. I tried to get some photos of the insects but they would not be still long enough to get a good shot except for a Southern Paper Wasp but I have that one in the insect album and most of you have seen them. See links in column to the right of this blog for Bona Dea Wildlife. I did see a really big Northern Flicka woodpecker today. Great Blue Herons are back at the park and one staying in the Waldon Pond area. Mosquitoes were really biting today. I fed the fish at the spillway. New fish pellets and they are larger and the fish don't like them as well. Will have to soak them a little bit first. Also saw some vulcher or buzzard birds flying high over the park. This is the first time in a long time. Also some Cormorants were seen in Lake Dardanelle a few days ago across from the park. The Cooler weather the past few weeks have really brought the people out to the park. Sometimes you cannot find a place to park your vehicle.The other day at the spillway, I saw a really big needle nose soft shell turtle that surfaced for only a little bit. The first one I have seen this year. They used to be seen in the spring quite often. Have had reports that people have seen a really big copperhead snake at the south part of the park on Serpendipity Trail. I have seen it in prior years but have not been able to see one to photo this year. Oh Yeh, I almost forgot. Today at the post office in town, I saw a Woodchuck across the street in a lawyers office back yard. It was just chomping away not far from the street. Strange to see in the middle of town. Stupid me, Forgot to get my camera for a photo.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Bona Dea has been sunny most days recently except the other day when it rained a little bit. We do need some rain around here. Flocks of various birds have been coming through this area. October seems to be the main month for migration heading south for the winter months. Still been feeding the Blue Gill Brim at the spillway but the catfish have disappeared since it has gotten cooler at night. Some Pileated and Downy woodpeckers have been active. Also the late summer and fall wildflowers are coming and going pretty fast. I suppose in anticipation of cold weather. Sorta wish it would hurry up and get here. I must have scared the Gator the last time I saw it as I have not seen it since. But the cooler weather at night may have moved it to its winter quarters away from where I mess with it. I recently saw a pretty male wood duck land right close to the spillway and then saw me and quickly started swimming towards some friends further out in the water as shown by the photo. Also saw a Great Blue Heron wading bird. This photo shows it was in a hole of water where the Alligator usually heads for at night in the summer time. It would make a pretty good supper don't you think. I took this photo of a very pretty bright red cardinal plant close to nightfall. This plant was very tall with some others like it nearby on Beaver Trail. Also on Waldon Way Trail there was a really pretty purple headed Trumpet weed or Joe-Pyed weed plant that I had to photo. Speaking of the spillway. There was a pretty small yellow single flower bloom of a Water Primrose wildflower that was actually growing in amount several tree roots in the very bottom of the dry spillway. These photos shows the bloom closeup and then the entire plant. Also on Waldon Way Trail I saw some Wild Rose Hips growing on the very sharp thorny limbs or stems of the rose plants. The red berry like hips are actually the seed pods for roses. On Swinging Bridge Trail I saw this Asiatic dayflower with the long seed pods. There were more of them in earlier stages on Waldon Way Trail by the Trumpet weed plant. They have very small and bright blue flowers that actually bloom only in the morning and are gone by the afternoon when I usually go to the park. Lazy me, I should go and take some picks of the blooms. Just google Asiatic dayflower and you can see the really pretty blooms.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
From bottom up: Red Buckeye Bush-Aesculus Pavia-Seed Pod-1-on deer trail across from Spillway-09-16-10. Sideoats Grama-Wild Grass seed pods-Bouteloua curtipendula-by Spillway-09-25-10. Small-flower White Aster-Symphyotrichum racemosum-bloom closeup-on Swinging Bridge Trail-09-25-10. Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly-on left. Red-spotted Purple butterfly-on right-by Big Prairie Creek Bridge-09-05-10. Wild Hydrangea-seed pods-Hydrangea arborea-by Spillway-09-25-10.
From bottom up: Chinkapin Oak or Chestnut Oak Tree-on Serendipity Trail close to Big Prairie Creek Bridge-09-15-10. Giant Sunflower-forming blooms-Hellianthus giganteus-on Serendipity Trail-09-09-10. Honey Bee-Apis millifera-on Swinging Bridge Trail-09-16-10. Pearl Crescent butterfly-Phyciodes tharos-on Swinging Bridge Trail-09-16-10. Red Admiral butterfly-on left. Red-spotted Purple butterfly-on right. by Big Prairie Creek Bridge-09-05-10.
These are some plant photos taken over the past couple of weeks at the park. From bottom up: Biennial Beeblossom wildflower-bloom closeup-on Swinging Bridge Trail-09-25-10. Canada Goldenrod wildflower bloom-Solidago canadensis-on trail by dike-09-25-10. Cardinal Flower blooms- closeup-Lobelia cardinalis-on Waldon Way Trail-09-09-10. Chinese Bush Clover-with Honey Bee-Lespedeza cuneata-on Swinging Bridge Trail-09-25-10. Chinkapin Oak or Chestnut Oak-acorns-on Serendipity Trail close to Big Prairie Creek Bridge-09-15-10.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I have not posted in some time. Have taken some pics but not posted here. The weather is really turning out to be pleasant these days after all the very hot weather recently. The birds are coming back to the park in flocks. Crows and Crackles and some flocks of ducks. Also some woodpeckers. Haven't seen the gator again since the post below. I did manage to see a Texas Rat snake. In this part of the world we call them Black or Chicken snakes. This one was meeting me on the trail and I tried to get it to stay on the smooth surface but it went into the woods and I followed it and it was getting late and had to use the flash to get the pics. Also I saw this man on what looks like a serf board using a paddle. I have seen him out on Lake Dardanelle across from the park on Fridays doing his thing. I suppose it it good exercise. The late Summer and early Fall wildflowers are in bloom and have some pics to post next.