Posts made in February, 2013

My Friend Bud

Posted by on Feb 9, 2013 in leaves, photos, plant parts, Unmowed Blog, winter | 2 comments

Under the snow, the leaves of spring are waiting. Thanks to Wells Horton for capturing this photo. One of my naturalist friends, Glenn Humphrey, likes to teach kids about “my friend Bud.” Buds, in strict botanic terminology, are those little brown bumps on the ends of twigs that no one ever notices. Until one fine day, when the little bumps burst open and reveal the leaves and blossoms of spring we’re all panting for. As miraculous as a chick hatching out of its shell. But when did Bud start incubating those baby leaves? Last spring. At the...

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Queen Anne’s Lace: Carrots and Butterflies

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in edible, insects, plant parts, Unmowed Blog, wildlife | 3 comments

No, the train isn’t barrelling down the track here. The weeds growing up through the railroad tracks and under the wheels show how many months or even years it’s been since this train went anywhere. Railroad tracks are interesting little habitats. They cut, straight as an arrow, through cities, meadows, forests, mountains. Back in the days when people first built railroads all across the country, the rail embankments were the first road for plants to travel. Dozens, even hundreds of species of plants moved along the tracks–not puffing along at sixty miles an hour like the...

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To Feed a Mockingbird

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in birds, environment, great ideas, plant parts, seeds, Unmowed Blog, wildlife, winter | 4 comments

Another day, another parking lot. Now this might not look like a National Park or anything. But I drove into this parking lot in Guilderland, NY the other day, parked, and sat there thinking about nothing in particular for a minute. And in sixty seconds flat I had observed three gray squirrels, a flock of starlings, and a mockingbird. I’m no great birder, but I’m sure it was a mockingbird—big gray bird, long graceful tail, and a white flash under the wings as it flew into the bushes. Mockingbirds increasingly winter here in New York State, and they love thickets and scrub and berries....

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Cold Winter Day

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in birds, Unmowed Blog, wildlife, winter | 3 comments

A cold day today. Snow, and then sunshine that seems colder than the snow. A hard day for chickadees and goldfinches and redpolls and nuthatches and such to keep warm. Good thing my backyard has a lot of birdfeeders in it. Lots of food for feathered friends. What, you don’t see the birdfeeders? I mean all those goldenrods, asters, dogwoods, grasses–all the shrubby, seedy, weedy stuff we haven’t mowed in…gosh, we haven’t mowed this back field in probably ten years. Bird restaurant.  

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