On last Monday evening, Hazel, a very special friend in New York City left us. She was from Ohio and so we hope would appreciate the small patch of slightly endangered Prarie Smoke (Geum triflorum) plants we have planted in her memory at 341 West Front Street. They have very free and elegant whisps of seed structure and are as unique, creative and unforgetable as she was.
This year it was a long, slow spring with a late snow surprising the snowdrops who’d thought it was safe to come up by 21st. Feb.
Three days earlier it had been warm enough to lift the lid of my one remaining beehive and see if they were still alive – there they were with stingers extended:
They were furious that their warm winter blanket had been too soon removed. I was actually delighted (well, almost) to receive my first sting of the season. Here is the stinger after I pulled it out, under a 50x magnifier:
They only collect from one flower type at a time. This allows each flower species to be properly pollinated, but to the bee the pollen is only protein and so the pollen is all randomly mixed when they store it in their honeycomb.
This white spider appeared to have overcome the bee and was dragging it away.
I’m now told the geese often do this for no apparent reason!
There is one lively squirrel who repeatedly travels a treetop route every day – too quick to catch in mid-air with my cell phone camera but I keep trying. Keith at ikedabarry.com kindly morphed my two separate photos, taken seconds apart, into one ‘before and after’, showing the proper gap between the trees – see below:
He then offered me the choice of two images of what I saw, or what I thought I saw. They’re both so great I can’t decide between them:
The magnificent Red Trillium is open.
Its leaf (Later: I think it is the ‘Sepal’ rather than the leaf) sometimes carries a beautiful blaze of red also
The flower reportedly has a carrion odor that attracts flies for pollination.
To me it smelt more like baked ham. Does anyone know the odor of Ontario’s white Trillium?
Ohio State Extension says you need to pull 4 to 6 inches (100 to 150 mm) of root when weeding this alien invasive. They say that even then it might still regrow, in which case they simply recommend pulling it again. Good thing I’m retired and have nothing else to do!
In Spring they fill with water and teem with life, then dry up in the summer. Not being connected to the river, they have no fish and so a very different ecosystem can flourish. Scooping a small net immediately catches many strange, to me, creatures. They are so small that water to them is viscous and they swim with peculiar, jerking motions. Hard to persuade them to keep still for my simple 50x magnifier photos. The scale is in mm with the bug immediately below being about 2 mm dia.
I presume the one below is a just hatched egg from the one above.
Later: Naturalist, Karen S. kindly id’d the one above as a Water Flea, and one of its progony below.
She says the next two are Mosquito larvae.
And the last Spring Surprise shows a good reason to keep your meadow grass short and your feet shod, though lacking a rattle tail I doubt it was dangerous. At about 30 inches (750 mm) long I could not immediately identify it on-line. Any suggestions?
This one was more anxious to hide in the shrubbery than to attempt to eat the photographer.