Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bioblitz- The Afterparty

Because the weather was so uncooperative for the official bioblitz, and because Sunday was such a beautiful day, I decided to go out to Bluff Spring Fen and do my own version. Mainly I wanted to get some pictures of the late spring flora. It did not disappoint.

The plant that the Fen is most famous for, the small white ladyslipper orchid (Cypripedium candidum) , was in full bloom.

We have two species of puccoon at the Fen. Fringed puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) lives in our driest habitats.

Hoary puccoon (Lithosperum canescens) likes more mesic situations. Here Haploa caterpillars (probably Haploa lecontii) chow down. Next month, they will turn into white moths that are abundant at the Fen.

Golden alexandars (Zizia aurea) and heart-leaved golden alexandars (Zizia aptera) differ in both the shape of the leaves and the habitat. Golden alexandars can be found in many places, whereas heart-leaved golden alexandars live in dry settings.

Cotton grass (Eriophorum angustifolium) is actually a sedge. It's fluffy seed heads are dotted all over wet areas at this time of year.

Wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) is beginning to bloom in the Fen's woodland.

We can't have a bioblitz, even an unofficial one, without animals. This pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos) was not cooperating, but I managed to get one good shot anyway.

I would never have noticed this robin's (Turdus migratorius) nest if the robin hadn't flown out and started yelling at me. I'm not sure how drawing a potential predator's attention will help your eggs to survive. Fortunatley for her, I was only a potential predator.

Yeah, I know, cute, cute, cute. Vertebrates get all the good press.

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At 12:27, Anonymous Wayne said...

Love the Cypripedium. It may be one that we have around here but it would be very unusual.

I've tried establishing Zizia, the alexanders, but without much luck. I know they're around and I keep trying to find local populations of them.

Vertebrates - yes, very cute and you have to love their little four-chambered hearts.

At 12:48, Blogger Will said...

Chipmunks are indeed cute, but Fritz loathes squirrels and refers to them as tree rats.

I'm beginning to realize that all the dry-set stone walls I'm building around the house are going to be one huge chipmunk group residence!

At 13:07, Blogger Ur-spo said...

the insect order (or is that phylum?) needs a new PR person. Vertebrates are cute; bugs are 'bugs'.
perhaps a few commercials would help
fun surprises in the bottoms of cereal boxes?

At 13:12, Blogger Will said...

Spo, I've been lucky enough to have had some very fun surprises with a couple of my bottoms.

At 15:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous flowers, cute creatures! Thanks for the pics.

At 19:18, Blogger cedrorum said...

Nice post. I also like the candidum. What an appropriate common name.

At 00:55, Blogger wcs said...

Great series! Keep em coming!

At 14:59, Blogger Kathie Brown said...

Nice post Doug. I love how you know how all the parts work together. I'm working on aquiring that kind of knowledge but I have a long way to go.

At 07:09, Blogger Ur-spo said...

Forget the bugs
I'll take a few of what Will has.

At 11:31, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Wayne- This species of Cypripedium does not get as far south as you. We have a fairly easy time getting Zizia established at the Fen. Z. auria is easier than Z.aptera.

Will- Lots of folks around here also refer to them as tree rats. That stone terracing on a wooded site like yours will be chipmunk heaven.

Spo- Insects fit into the Linnean classification scheme at the level of Class. They are formerly Insecta, now Hexapoda.

Lilian- Thanks. glad you liked them

cedrorum- I've been told that candidum translates as 'shining white,' which is indeed appropriate to the species.

Walt- Thanks. I have a whole summer ahead of me for more of this stuff.

Kathie- Thank you. One of the things that I like about ecology is that it's such a huge field that everyone always has a long way to go in terms of learning about it.

Spo- Will is full of wickedness and needs to fall to his knees and repent of his ways.

At 13:49, Blogger Will said...

Will has been known to fall to his knees but, to paraphrase Mae West, repentence has nothin' to do with it. :-)

At 20:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the photo of the robin's nest...cute cute indeed!
Ok, a synchronistic moment...the
"word verification" word was..REDNESTS, which was wierd..lol..

At 08:26, Blogger Amila Suwa said...

I like the diversity you found on your own version of bioblitz. I like how you showed the mammal at the end!

At 13:27, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

A nice recovery from a damp weekend!


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