News from the Outdoor Loop

Many things have occurred over the last week, wildflowers blooming, ducks coming of age, insects emerging and mating, and warmer, more permanent weather has arrived.

In a somewhat quiet out-of-the-way location here on our 84 acre campus native wildflowers, like dutchman’s breeches and bloodroot, from an old wildflower trail, have managed to survive amongst various non-natives like English ivy and Japanese honeysuckle.

Toothwart’s clusters of white flowers, with a hint of pink or violet, are now blooming (top photo). It’s in the mustard family.

The white, multi-petalled flowers with yellow stamens of bloodroot belie its toxicity.

soft white flowers with yellow stamens veil bloodroot’s toxic properties.
Bloodroot flowers and leaves.

Dutchman’s breeches is named for the flowers’ likeness to “bloomers” hanging on the line to dry.

Hung out to dry.

Mayapple is up. The single flowers hang beneath the umbrella leaves.

In our area mayapples should perhaps be called Aprilapples.

The trout lily is named for its molted brown and green leaves.

Trout lily’s leaves are molted green and brown.
The flower.

Dragonflies are beginning to emerge from their watery nymphal habitat to become flying insects.

A teneral, male common whitetail dragonfly.

I spotted these two flesh flies (below) mating on the roof of our Club Car golf cart.

Mating flesh flies.

There are three hooded mergansers lingering in our wetlands. One, is a young male coming into adult plumage.

A young male hooded merganser. Note the light colored eye, dark bill, and white patch on side of head.
Pair of hooded mergansers (male, right).

And, I saw the first gray treefrog of the season today (3/30/19). He was sitting atop a post along a service road through the woods.

Cope’s gray tree frog.

Get outside and enjoy the weather!

1 response to News from the Outdoor Loop

  1. Avatar
    Carol Henderson says:

    I’ve seen a couple of Tiger swallowtail butterflies this week. Do you know of any nectar plants that they use at this time of year? I have plenty of nectar sources for them in a few weeks, but none with the exception of creeping phlox.

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