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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Evening Hike

Because it wasn't quite so brutally hot this afternoon, Charles & I went for a hike at the Flatwoods shortly before sunset. I heard some blue jays screeching incessantly & found it odd, until I spotted a barred owl perched in a tree. A pair of cardinals accidentally flew into the chaos, but quickly realized their error & beat it out of there. Harassed by the jays, eventually the owl flew off (& they followed.) Shortly after that, a couple of great blue herons flew by not far away. There was also what was probably a Mississippi kite, doing some shallow stoops (like a falcon.)
There were some beautiful flowers, including orange milkwort, butterfly weed (pictured above,) wild orchids & others. Unfortunately there were also a lot of deer flies (which wouldn't leave us alone,) & some seriously large hornets. Toward the end of our hike the sun started to set and the bats came out. There was much to be seen, even though we were only out there about an hour.

22 comments:

Natural said...

Well good thing those cardinals made it out of there, I sense that owl was like come on....

I'm not a fan of anything butterfly, but the picture of the butterfly weed is quite beautiful.

laughingwolf said...

another great natural history outing, thx lana... hope you can identify your mystery bird

Charles Gramlich said...

One cool thing was that the Kite, or whatever it was, made this kind of "whooping" noise at the end of its swoops which I suspect was a final homing sound as it located it's insect prey.

Sandpiper said...

A nice walk and you saw so many things. The light on that web is outstanding.

bernie kasper said...

Great shots Lana, the butterfly weed is beautiful !!

Steve Malley said...

Lovely. Here we went from short sleeves to snow in one day. Two days later, back to short sleeves again!

Lana Gramlich said...

NW; Yes...butterfly weed is quite a pretty plant, really.

Laughingwolf; Thanks. I'll update this post once I figure the bird out.

Charles; Yes, that was so cool!

Sandpiper; Thank you! It was the perfect time of day to get the shot of that web.

Bernie; Coming from you that's quite a compliment. Thanks. :)

Steve; Ewwwwwwwwwwwww...you said "sn*w." *shudder*

Travis said...

It's called Butterfly Weed, but is it really a weed? Seems awfully pretty to be a weed.

Gale Rainwater said...

Hi Lana, I hope all is well with you. It was pretty cool today in AR. I haven't been blogging in a while. You got some nice images on your walk. Come and see me (blog)sometime.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a gorgeous post. Beautiful images and writing!!!

I have always called blue jays the protectors of the forest. They do call out warning signs when unfavorable wildlife comes near them. They have such brilliant blue and white feathers that it's a delight to see them fly past; add the bright red cardinals and WOW!!! you had a colorful show.

Aren't Great Blue Heron's awesome and prehistoric looking!

Good morning, dear Lana.

Hugs, JJ

ivan@cretivewriting.ca said...

Well, in mainland Louisianna, at least, nature seems alive and well.

Kites are originally from Africa, no?

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; "Weed" seems to be a very relative term, often denoting wildflowers, in general. Not being a horticulturalist, I don't really know what the formal difference is. To me, a flower is a flower.

Gale; Sorry I've been absent--I've been busy in "real" life as well. Thanks for stopping by--I'll return the favor as soon as I can. Hope all's well with you, also! :)

JJ; Good morning! I felt badly for the jays, whose nest had probably been raided by the owl. They are beautiful, though. I've loved great blue herons since I was a child. I figured anything that was taller than I was & could fly was pretty impressive!

Ivan; I don't know the evolutionary history of the birds, but we have local species, as well (i.e.; Mississippi kite, swallow-tailed kite, etc.)

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Lana,

I admire you and Charles for getting out there in the summer heat. Even not that brutally hot is still pretty hot! You two are badasses! Love the pictures.

Lana Gramlich said...

Michelle; Thanks. :) We both keep hoping it'll rain (which it hasn't in almost a month now.)

Dave Coulter said...

Amazing what you two saw & heard on such a brief hike. And people wonder why people like us are always outside?

Happy Trails!

:)

2sweetnsaxy said...

The lighting on that web is fantastic!

Marvin said...

It sounds as if you two had a great outing. The butterfly weed is gorgeous, but of course, I'm a butterfly weed fan. If you can ever get a macro of a deer fly, you'll find they have amazing eyes. Of course, you usually must donate a little blood to get deer flies to hold still long enough for a photo.

Lana Gramlich said...

Dave; You've got that right & back atcha! :)

2sweetnsaxy; Thanks. It was JUST the right time of day.

Marvin; Thank you. I'll take your word for it on the deer fly eyes...I don't feel like donating blood any time soon! *L* (I'm still healing from 2 fire ant bites suffered in mid-March of 2007!)

Miladysa said...

Oh my... BIG spiders?!

Barbara Martin said...

Lovely photos, and both of you had a nice walk.

Until I lived in Ontario I had never seen a real cardinal. They are quite small, and the hen is a nondescript brownish colour. If she's on old leaves, her colour blends right in. I used to put out the left over seed from my lovebirds, and the cardinals would come early in the morning or late in the evening during the summer for the millet branches.

Lana Gramlich said...

Miladysa; No...HUGE spiders! <:O

Barbara; Thank you. Every year we tend to have an explosion of baby cardinals. Last year we went from 4 of them to 20. I wasn't sure how this year was going to work out, as there's a limit, of course, as to how many can survive. They're not that small, actually. Nuthatches, chickadees & such are typically half their size. Cardinals are typically only a few inches shorter than blue jays, which are fairly sizeable.

Miladysa said...

*shriek*

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