BlackRail - The smallest of all rails, the black rail is slate-colored, with a black bill, red eyes and a white-speckled back. They nest from southern New England to the Gulf States, and winter from the southern Atlantic coast states south to Central America. Black Rails are endangered due to loss of habitat. Although high marsh habitat is now protected by wetland laws, it has been reduced to a fraction of its former size. Localized predation by cats, dogs, raccoons and skunks may also be a factor limiting black rail populations.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Posted by Wayne at 8:11 AM
Monday, May 29, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Buttercup - Mostly a herbaceous perennial with bright yellow or white flowers; some are annuals or biennials, and a few have orange or red flowers. Some species are popular ornamental flowers in horticulture, with many cultivars selected for large and brightly coloured flowers.
An old superstition says that if you hold a buttercup under your face, and a yellow light is reflected on your face, it means that you like butter.
MercuryjoinsSaturnMarsJupiter - Around May 26, Mercury appears in the evening sky, there to remain throughout spring.
Posted by Wayne at 10:35 AM
Thursday, May 25, 2006
PearlyMussel - Freshwater mussels serve as biological filters, food for wildlife, monitors of water quality, and the basis of a $50 million industry. America's Ohio River Basin is home to the largest and most diverse group of freshwater mussels in the world. They continue to decline towards extinction, due to pollution, dam construction, and other human activities. Efforts to preserve, protect, and restore native mussel species are being explored.
SpringWood - The tree layer that grows in the Spring makes up half of the ring that trees grow annually
Posted by Wayne at 11:50 AM
Monday, May 22, 2006
LadysSlipper - Orchid Family - Found across much of North America, as well as in parts of Europe. They are distinguished by their slipper-shaped pouches, which function by trapping insects so that they are forced to climb up past the stamen, behind which they collect or deposit pollen. The lady's slipper is known in the United States as the moccasin flower, from its resemblance to a shoe or moccasin.
Posted by Wayne at 7:07 AM
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Sumac - Rhus is a genus approximately 250 species of woody shrubs and small trees in the family Anacardiaceae. They are commonly called sumac. The leaves are spirally arranged; they are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5-30 cm long, each flower very small, creamy white, greenish or red, with five petals. The fruit form dense clusters of reddish drupes. The genus is found in subtropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world, with the highest diversity in southern Africa.
TopPollinators - Thirty percent of all food resources for humans come from plants pollinated by bees. They pollinate more flora than any other species.
Posted by Wayne at 9:47 AM
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
LilacBreastedRoller - Widely distributed throughout Africa, South of the Congo basin as well as in East Africa. This attractive bird is one of the most commonly seen of the Rollers. An inhabitant of dry open brush and wooded areas, it perches prominently on bushes, trees and fence poles. It preys on lizards and invertebrates, but is also known to take small birds. Lilac-breasted Rollers are also quite unbothered by people, allowing you to get very close for a great photograph.
Posted by Wayne at 10:55 AM
Monday, May 15, 2006
Vireos - A group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills.
MultipleMates - Female squirrels choose the strongest male during mating season, but are unlikely to breed with that male again. This minimizes inbreeding.
Midnight Sun - By mid-May the Sun is up all the time in latitudes above 70 degrees north; it won't set until September.
Posted by Wayne at 1:48 PM
Friday, May 12, 2006
LeafOut - As the leafy canopy develops, shade-tolerant species replace the early sunlight-dependent plants along the ground.
PredatorPoison - Butterflies lay eggs on milkweed plants. Growing larvae (caterpillars) eat milkweed leaves, which contain toxins that make the caterpillars poisonous to most predators.
Posted by Wayne at 10:57 AM
Thursday, May 11, 2006
MudDauber - Type of wasp, and they are solitary insects that build small nests out of mud in or around homes, barns, and other structures. The mud dauber's nest is comprised of a series of cylindrical cells that are plastered over to form a smooth nest about the size of a human fist. After building a nest, the female wasp captures several spiders or insects. The captured prey are stung and paralyzed before being placed in the nest, and then a single egg is deposited on the prey within each cell. The wasp then seals the cell with mud. After finishing a series of cells, she leaves and does not return. Eventually, the hatching larvae will eat the prey and emerge from the nest. Because of their calm tempers and ability to control the insect and spider population, many people respect them.
MercuryLeavesMornings - Around May 11, Mercury becomes too close to the Sun for observation.
Posted by Wayne at 10:36 AM
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
BandedGecko - Found throughout Arizona in canyons, open desert, vacant lots and backyards. It is one of the few geckos that has eyelids. This gecko is fragile with skin that is soft and tears easily. When captured, it releases its tail quickly along pre-formed breakpoints and then regenerates it. A severed tail twitches wildly and helps to distract predators from the fleeing gecko.
Posted by Wayne at 8:06 AM
Friday, May 05, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Hummingbird - Found only in the Americas, including the West Indies. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings, 15 to 80 times per second. The hummingbird is alone in its ability to fly deliberately backwards or vertically, and to maintain position for drinking from flower blossoms.
Hummingbirds begin nesting in early to mid-May, and the egg incubation is typically 14-19 days.
Posted by Wayne at 12:06 PM