Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snap Shots, January-February 2012

Stepping a couple months back for this post, here are a few of the snapshot made during the months of January and February 2012. Northwest Indiana had a mild winter, below average snow fall and above average temps. All in all a most pleasant winter.

Last summer I found an area with a large growth of Illinois Bundle weed (here is a photo of this plant in flower). I revisited the area and found the Bundle weed seed pods. The seed pods twist themselves about the flowerhead in a tight bundle. In the photo below you can see how the pods split open to release the seeds. I collected a few seeds and will try to grow them in my flower garden this spring.

Illinois Bundle Weed Seed Pods

The only birds seen in the field during this hike were a small flock of Chipping Sparrows. Flying from bush to bush, and close to the ground, looking for seeds and insects in the leaf litter.

Chipping Sparrow

The neighborhood in which I live is shared with a family of Cooper Hawks. They hunt and nest in Oaks and Maple trees. Skilled hunters, they fly through the trees taking any small animal that lets its guard down. 

Cooper Hawk

Many a time I have a Forest Gump moment, while standing in the yard, I'll see a feather drifting in the still air.  Sure enough a Cooper Hawk will be perched in a tree above, plucking it's lunch. 

Cooper Hawk with lunch

This is a photo of a Red-Tailed Hawk, high in a dead Cottonwood tree, overlooking Ranger's Marsh.

Red-Tailed Hawk

How mild was the winter of 2011-12.  I left the collard greens and cabbage in the ground last fall. We would go out and pick a hand full of greens when needed. Well, they grew all winter, these photos were taken February 27, 2012. I'll let them go to seed and maybe they'll be our greens for Easter dinner. 

Collard Greens in February 

Well, the winter was mild enough for this Blue Bot Fly to pay us a visit in February.

And the Maple trees are flowering in February.

(Left Click any Photo See the Slide Show)