Saturday, June 23, 2012

In the Woodland

We just got back from a walk in the woods. It is a humid day, about 22, slightly overcast and muggy. It feels more like Elora Ontario than Gwynne Alberta. The light is muted and it is perfect for taking pictures of flowers and foliage, the hues are much more saturated.
The woods are different this year from any of the previous 11 years I have lived here. We had a lot of deadwood this spring, many alders and poplars died where they stood. This has thinned out the topmost canopy, letting in more light to the midgrowth section, and as a result this wooded area has a dense middlegrowth.
The woods in my front yard are completely different though, because they are mostly Manitoba maple, and so the canopy is very dense and there is no middle growth at all. I'll go in there on a later post.
Here is the path in the north woods, from a crouching view. It's far more prolific than previous years.

Daisy. There is a strange anomaly over her back, it looks like a face when it's enlarged. It's in a subsequent photo too which I haven't included.

The seed head from a poplar. This is why it's called cottonwood.

A red birch showing signs of a visit from a sapsucker.

The mastiffs.


This looks to me like pyrola asarifolia, or common wintergreen. It was growing in the wooded edge near a slough.

The Alberta wild rose.

Wintergreen again.

These look like a version of oyster mushroom, pleurotus ostreatus.

I love these two trees that grow together, a birch and poplar.

A drooping fungus that looks like dripping wax.

This may be zizia aptera or Meadow Parsnip, aka Heart-leaved Alexander. It's from the carrot family apiaceae.

I haven't yet identified this plant. It grows on a hillside, and I only found one other example of it. The flowers are pendulous like grass seed pods.

I think this may be blue beard's-tongue, or penstemon nitidus.

This red tailed hawk is nesting nearby and announces our presence to everyone by his screams. I don't know how anyone could sneak around the woods unnoticed with hawks in the area. They tell everyone an invader is coming.

This dark purple is an alfalfa flower. Alfalfa has many different colors of flower, from white to yellow, pink, lavender and this deep purple. It's quite beautiful when it flowers in swaths.

These little upright flowers grow along my fence lines.

The sunset last night was purple, magenta, and gold. The photos above were taken in the woods silhouetted in this picture.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Birds at home

Here is a shot of the tree swallow on his house.

On our walk last week I saw this bird at the south edge of the wood. It seems to be a lark, but if anyone out there can identify it, please leave a comment on this post. I thought it might be a meadowlark, but it doesn't have yellow on it, and it has a very distinctive tail. It is about the size of a robin.

The magnificent Kylie, scenting a deer. Just as I snapped this picture I heard hoofs glancing on wood and a deer darted through the willows behind me. It was a white-tailed doe and she went far too quickly for me to take a picture.

She ran through here, along the deer path.