Photo of the Week – February 8, 2019

It’s cold outside. Not just cold – blustery cold. The kind of blustery cold that takes your breath away unless you turn your face out of the wind. It’s the time of year when people ask themselves why they live in places that get this cold. That’s never been something I’ve fretted about. Seasons feel right to me. I appreciate spring because it follows winter. Winter is also a time to slow down and get things done that are too easily put off during the rest of the year. When going outside is a pleasant option why would you install the new toilet or sort through the overflowing drawer of miscellany in the dining room?

On the other hand, late winter is certainly a time when I start to feel flower withdrawal. It’s not a major affliction, but a real one. Looking at spring flower photos from previous years sometimes helps me, so in case the same applies to you, here are a few spring flower photos from recent years. These are the friends I’m looking forward to seeing in about two months. In the meantime (Brr) I have a drawer to see about…

Wild plum (Prunus americana)
Carolina anemone (Anemone caroliniana).
Ground plum, aka buffalo pea (Astragalus crassicarpus)
Sun sedge (Carex heliophila)
Pussy toes (Antennaria neglecta)
Pasque flower (Anemone patens)

Photo of the Week – February 1, 2019

It’s till pretty drab and brown outside, so today’s photos are again selected from last summer’s shots. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is glad to look at some color.

We missed out on most of the polar vortex here in Aurora; we only dropped as low as -5 degrees one night, and we’re back up close to 50 degrees today. The misplaced jokes I’ve heard (“heh heh, global warming, am I right?”) reminded me that I’d written a post several years ago about how global warming does, in fact, influence longer and colder temperatures at times during the winter. I looked up the post and was dismayed to see it was almost SIX YEARS OLD. And we’re still arguing (and joking) instead of acting.

Moving on, though, here is some color from last August. I photographed bees and a few other insects on tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum) several different times during that month. (Which reminds me of another previous post, this one on native thistles and their importance to pollinators). Here are some highlights from those August thistle photos.

A crab spider waits for the next pollinator to stop by…
A skipper butterfly on tall thistle at our family prairie.
I think this might be a fruit fly (Tephrellia?) that lays eggs in thistle flowers. Anyone know for sure?