Friday, August 26, 2011

Bona Dea Update-1

Bona Dea is still in operation. I have been absent for awhile. I went there in the late afternoon today, Friday. I went to the spillway. After just going down swinging bridge trail for a few feet I saw a raccoon cross in front of me going from one pool to another one. I slowly crept up on it until it saw me and ran down the bank. Then as I was starting to walk again, 2 small babies walked across the trail and right in front of me stopped and stared and raised their backs like cats ready to fight. I had no camera so I missed a great photo opportunity. The link above shows close to what they looked like. After going to the spillway I fed the fish and also a small Musk Turtle. I have not mentioned one in a long time. The photo here shows one at the same location some time back. A few days ago I went to the Disc Golf Course near by and while standing on the iron cross over bridge, I looked down into the water and saw and really huge Midland Watersnake,Nerodia sipedon pleuralis. No camera again but this is a link to them. They really look mean and poisonous but aren't. I noticed out there that there are many young Eastern Kingbirds flying around and chasing each other like crazy. I saw this several days earlier out there too. In the early spring, there were several pair in the area so I supposed most of the eggs hatched by the looks of things. An oddity I discovered when I got home was while going to the mail box by the road, I noticed what looked like an apple growing in the Japonica or Quince Flowering bush. I examined it closely to see if it was attached to a foreign plant embedded in the bush. But no, it was attached to a stem of the bush. I researched it and found it was the fruit or seed pod for this bush called Chaenomeles. I have seen and been up close to these bushes all my life and never have noticed these things. Here is a photo of 2 of them together. And also a photo of what the mature flowering bush looks like in the Spring. You can actually eat these. They are very hard which I found out when handling it. But you can boil it down and make jelly out of them. Learn something every day huh? Back to the subject at hand, some time ago at the Disc Golf Course, I viewed these beans or seed pods to a Trumpet Creeper wildflower vine. These were huge. You can see them attached to the vine with the orange flower blooms. Also present behind these were some smaller seed pods of a Hazel Alder small tree or bush. They were planted there by the waters edge when the authorities built the park. I zoomed and cropped the photos to see the small seed pods that were in the background. It actually rained close to 9 inches in 9 straight days at my home in the last month. It has rained some since then. But it has really been a hot and dry summer up until August. The night now are in the high 60's to low 70's F. Nice sleeping weather.

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