My grandson Isaac and I were driving along the Snake River near Swan Falls Dam on June 15, 2011, and saw a flock in a parking area near the dam. They all left as we drove up except for this one, who started walking away as I stopped to take this photo.
I ran across my first-ever Mullein Foxglove last Saturday along the gravel road to the Blue Hole at Pigeon Mountain. I had made a few trips down this way, monitoring a location for a couple of orchid species I want to catch in bloom. Jay Clark and I spotted the leaves of these orchids back in March, but now there is so much understory growth I haven’t been able to relocate them. In any case, it wasn’t a wasted trip since I was able to photograph a Whiteflower Leafcup, Heal-all, Agrimony, Tall Bellflower, Browneyed Susan, Pale Indian Plantain, and the Mullein Foxglove, all before the rain sent me home.
While I was photographing the plant, this fly landed on one of the blossoms. Dr. John Hilty at illinoiswildflowers.info says that bumblebees, honeybees, miner bees, and butterflies sip the nectar of this plant. We add this fly to his list.
Click on the image to go to Flickr, where you can view a larger version.
I chased this bee around a clump of Silverleaf Phacelia (Phacelia hastata) while photographing wildflowers along the Kleinschmidt Grade in Hell’s Canyon, Adams County, Idaho on 06/19/2011.
The Chukar (Alectoris chukar) is a bird that was imported from Pakistan many years ago as a game bird. It has naturalized in dry mountainous parts of the United States. My wife photographed this one along the long driveway to the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho on June 14. This was our first time to see this bird.
I missed the Wings on Wednesday post last week, so you’ll get more than one photo this week. Cindy and I made a drive up Lucky Peak nearly to the top. This VERY rugged drive is great for the views, the birds, and the wildflowers. As we were coming back down and nearing Route 21, I saw a raptor flying along the hill on the left. It turned out to be a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, being quite defensive of their nest with at least one chick in it.
(Note: I’m on vacation and have so lost track of time I posted “Wings on Wednesday” on Tuesday of this week. )
Wednesday has been creeping up on me lately, thus the almost Thursday WingsOnWednesday post. This lovely butterfly was one of many (several different species) hanging aroung the Blue Hole at Pigeon Mountain in Walker County, GA on Memorial Day 2011.
Thanks to Twitter friend @pwtphotography for the identification as a Question Mark butterfly – Polygonia interrogationis. @echoschemes and @LeeHillerLondon also pointed me in the right direction identifying it as a member of the Polygonia genus. I hadn’t gotten any closer to thinking (correctly, at least!) it was a member of the Nymphalidae family.
Following photo added to help show the mark that is what made me decide it is a Question Mark – Polygonia interrogationis – instead of the very similar Eastern Comma – Polygonia comma.
I spent about half of last Saturday (05/21/2011) checking out the wildflowers in the Blue Hole area of Pigeon Mountain, and then a quick run down to the creek below the Civil War Wayside in the Estelle area. This butterfly was enjoying some late morning nectar. Unfortunately I don’t know either the butterfly species or the wildflower species; most likely one of the Rubus species. Any help with either would be greatly appreciated.
In case you haven’t heard, the cicadas are back. If you haven’t heard, either you don’t live in the area of their emergence, or you haven’t stepped outside recently. They are making their presence known with their loud and nearly incessant buzzing. The buzzing is done by what comes out of this shell – read on for more.
Forestry Service Road 283 provides a great drive in the mountains of northeast Georgia during the spring wildflower season. This is the second season we’ve driven this road looking for wildflowers, and were not disappointed. At one of our stops at a campsite along the road my wife spotted this moth (perhaps a Spilosoma species?) on one of dozens of Pink Ladyslippers (Cypripedium acaule) in the area.
My wife and I spent a couple of days at The Ridges Resort in Hiawassee, Georgia this week. Tuesday morning a green heron (Butorides virescens) on the hunt for breakfast joined me as I was having devotions by the lake. I took a break for a couple of photos when the heron showed up on the hunt. Read on to see if he was successful.
We’re heading back to Idaho in early June to meet a new grandson, who should arrive a couple of before weeks we get there (if he’s not, Lynn will probably have some harsh words for him.) In anticipation of the upcoming trip, I thought of the many Western Tanagers we saw while out there last year about the same time. Apparently the tanagers hanging around last year was due to the unusually late spring; too cold to move on to their normal summer territory. I don’t expect the same good fortune this year, and am grateful for last year’s opportunity. Here are a few photos.
My wife and I took a ride up Estelle Mine Road on Pigeon Mountain on this past Saturday. We wanted to go back to a spot to see a very vibrant batch of Wild Comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum) that we had spotted the week before with only a single blossom open. Turned out to be a great drive. Not only was the Wild Comfrey fully blooming, but we saw many other wildflowers, including our first ever encounter with Yellow Honeysuckle (Lonicera flava) and the bicolored form of Bird’s Foot Violet (Viola pedata.)
My wife captured a photo of this butterfly in flight at a Wild Azalea plant. I think it was actually leaving the plant at the time, but I like it because it looks like it’s dive-bombing the azalea.