We monitored Bird foot Violet and Lyre-leaved Rock Cress yesterday in and around Ostrich Barrens. The lupine were at their peak, just in time for Blue Week. A few birders were lingering around from the Biggest Week in American Birding. They were likely looking for Lark Sparrows and Red headed Woodpeckers that have recently moved into areas opened up by the tornado several years ago. Even though it was cool, the sun warmed us as we strolled.
We record our data digitally on an iPad. I am one of two who do not begrudge the task. Normally it interferes with appreciating the surroundings - one's nose is always on the screen, recording an inordinate amount of information required in the name of Science. But yesterday, because we limited our documentation to two species, I had plenty of time to loaf. I sat down to photograph one of my favorite Spring flowers - the aptly named Pussy Toes. I saw the insect and thought it was an ant. I now believe it is a spider. What do you think?
Dan and I took a drive out to Goll Woods today. It is a patch of old growth forest in Northwest Ohio. I haven't been there in many years and I don't ever remember having been there in the Spring. The forest floor was literally carpeted with flowers.
Toad shade Trillium
a yellow violet
Yellow Trout Lilly
I don't remember having ever seen a more pristine forest floor. The one Garlic Mustard plant we came across has been safely dispatched to the trash heap.
This forest was once part of the Great Black Swamp - not a pleasant place to visit once the mosquitoes hatch But I'm putting it on my list of places to return each Spring.
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide lists over 30 Viola species occurring in Northeastern and North-central North America.
This was the first day of our monitoring season. There wasn't much blooming, but for me, the Birdfoot Violet makes any trip worthwhile. We counted over 300 plants blooming on the sand dunes just off Ostrich Lane.
The Sand cherry had enough buds for us to count it as well.