Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday Morning Nature Hike-Part 2

The first thing I noticed after crossing into the woods was the amount of plants now growing. The trillium flowers were almost done blooming, but they had been replaced by lots of violets (both purple and yellow), May apples, and the Jack-in-the-Pulpits. I kept my eyes peeled for some Lady Slippers, but never saw any.
I also saw plenty of ferns, Solomon's Seal, and lots of gooseberry bushes with plenty of little berries just starting.
I walked around the perimeter fenceline just because I wanted to keep watching for warblers at the forest edge. I was lucky enough to spot a Common Yellowthroat skulking around in some shrubs low to the ground. I was also watching the forest floor also, just in case there might be a little deer fawn hiding somewhere. No fawns spotted, but I did spot this remnant of a deer jaw lying under a fence.

At the east edge of the forest, it opens up into a big pasture, with a couple different groves of trees. This is the pasture where the cattle spend the summer. I didn't see any cattle this morning, but saw plenty of fresh "cowpies," so I had to watch my step out here.

While I was walking in the pasture, I heard this bird singing from the trees, and there was another one singing from farther back in the pasture. I was never able to get a visual on this bird. Can any of you identify this bird by its song? Could it be a Baltimore Oriole?

I headed back into the woods to start for home. As I got into the woods, I startled a big fat raccoon. I was pretty surprised to see him scurrying away--they're usually asleep at this time of day.

I also had the pleasure of spotting several busy little American Redstarts flitting about in the high branches. I managed to capture a few seconds of video of one of these Redstarts. Isn't it neat the way they flare their tails so you can see those bright orange patches?

I was still hearing plenty of birds singing, including the Gray Catbird, House Wren, and Great Crested Flycatcher. As I headed out on the road to home, I spotted this bird across the way. I couldn't get a very good picture, but I'm pretty sure it's the Great Crested Flycatcher.

I was disappointed that I never saw any Wild Turkeys......there used to be a small flock in our neighborhood that has disappeared without explanation. The only evidence I saw of a turkey was this feather ground into the dirt of the road being constructed.

Well, that's the end of my hike. I'm sure glad you were all able to take this virtual hike with me. I especially want to dedicate this post to my mom and all the other folks with physical limitations that make a hike like this difficult or even impossible. As I was hiking, I realized how truly fortunate I am to have the opportunity to just go out and walk without any difficulty, and also to never take my physical abilities for granted.


Anonymous said...

Thank you,thank you for the rest of the hike. The woods are the prettiest in the spring, everything is coming back to life and blooming again. Our ferns are coming up, the hostas are all up, the jack-in-the-pulpits are blooming, solomons seals, our trillium is blooming, wild ginger is up, white and blue violets are in full bloom, johnny-jump-ups are blooming, and my favorite, dandelions. Your brother David planted most of this stuff on the north side of our garage so we have a nice selection of whats in the woods. I think I could go on a short hike as long as I use my cane for support, because I love the woods. Did you see any morel mushrooms, they are so good.
You sure do have some spectacular pictures of your neighbors wood.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think of you about every time I see a turkey Ruthie. They are abundant around here. There was even one running down the side of the highway this weekend. We also saw a male displaying to a female along a country road. Thanks for taking us on your hike.

Meggie said...

Thanks for taking me along on the hike, Ruthie. It was so pretty. I see tadpoles like those on my pool cover every spring. I posted about a female turkey in my yard kitty, Milly, didn't like her being there. I sure hope the nice weather sticks around for awhile. I planted some salvia and coreopsis this evening...felt so good. Take care!

Ruth said...

I wouldn't venture to guess at the bird song. I really need to get better at recognizing sounds. What a wonderful hike. Working with disabled people makes me realize how fortunate I am to be able to go for walks wherever and whenever I want.

LauraHinNJ said...

I don't know Ruthie... sort of makes me think oriole too.

Jayne said...

Well, I've never heard one, so I'm no help! :c) Lovely hike Ruthie. Thanks for taking us along!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
Glad you enjoyed the rest of the hike. I didn't see any morels--wonder if it's now too dry??
Now that Jack has given me permission to hike the woods, I'll probably go back often--next time looking for baby deer!

Thanks Lisa. I really enjoy the turkeys and the more I learn about them, the more fascinating they are--and much easier to spot and ID than warblers!

Hi Meggie,
I'll head over to your blog shortly--I'm still trying to catch up with everybody.
Our weather looks good through the weekend, so hopefully it will continue nice for you too. I need to get my window boxes & flowers pots planted with flowers soon too.

Hi Ruth,
I like going with you on your walks too--you have some wonderful scenic birding areas close by. I know many of the public areas are starting to become more handicapped accessible, but getting off the beaten path is still difficult for a lot of people.

Hi Laura,
Oriole was what I thought after I got home and heard mine singing. The ones at my house sing different than at my sister's (5 miles) away, so maybe it's just the difference in song versions!

That's OK Jayne, I'm glad you enjoyed the hike anyway. I'll go back maybe next weekend and see if I can't get a glimpse of that singing bird--then we'll know for sure!

Marsha said...

I enjoyed this second part of the walk as much as the first. It sure was a good thing you suprised the racoon and not the skunk :-)

Jennifer said...

I enjoyed parts one and two of your hike. I haven't had time for a proper hike... This time of year wears me out with the kind of hike where 12 children are in tow... Maybe this evening I can see who's blooming in the nearby woods...

Mary said...

Ruthie, I often think of my own Mom when I take walks. She wasn't able to make it to the mailbox for many years...and my Dad who hasn't walked in 12 years. We do take our health for granted.

I'm no help with the birds - I can't see your videos. Maybe it's because I'm at the office right now? I'll try at home.

It's looking beautiful there. Can't wait to see your new raised flower bed!


RuthieJ said...

Hi Marsha,
Thanks for coming along.
Several years ago I saw a skunk in our yard early one morning and that was the only time--the raccoon population is much healthier (till one of the neighbors up the street decides to start shooting them again).

Hi Jennifer,
I'll have to make some time to check your blog and see if you got some "me time" in the woods.
You are a hero in my book for being able to take kids out on a nature hike. I know that's something I would never be good at.

Hi Mare,
my brother and sissy can't see movies I e-mail them at work either--some sort of firewall blocks it for them.
I plan to post soon about the progress of my gardens.

Anonymous said...

My browser won't let me load the clip so sorry about that.

Trixie said...

What lovely, lush spring plants. even smells green! Thanks for the hike.

mon@rch said...

I don't think those American Redstarts ever sit still long enough! Great video/photos and I had to go back to see what I missed in part 1!

KGMom said...

I enjoyed your hike.
Aas for IDing a singing bird--me? Are you kidding? I can't ID them when I see them, much less when I just hear them.
Oh, I love your little knitting icon. So cool.

Anonymous said...

Ruthie, thank you very much for the dedication of your Nature Hike on Saturday to me. You know how much I love the woods with all the flowers and trees and critters that creep and crawl, swim and walk and whatever else goes on in the woods. God made such a beautiful place for us all to enjoy no matter what the season is.
Love MOM

RuthieJ said...

Hi Scienceguy,
Sorry about that; other people said they couldn't see the videos either--I wonder what the deal is??

Thanks Trixie and you're right--spring definitely smells better than winter!

Hi Mon@rch,
Those Redstarts are fun to watch, I was amazed I could follow that one as long as I did with the camera!

Thanks Donna -- I'm glad you had the chance to come along. If I ever find out what that bird is, I'll be sure to let everyone know.

You're welcome Mom. I'm not sure I would have the enjoyment of being outside if you hadn't started taking us kids out for nature hikes long ago and teaching us the names of plants and birds. Now I can repay you by dedicating my nature hike posts to you and sharing them with others through my blog.

April said...

Enjoyed your hike, Ruthie. Lots to see in the sunshine. Beautiful tribute to your Mom! She has a wonderful daughter. :)

Larry said...

A nice nature hike-part one and two. That's some serious tadpole soup going on there! You had some interesting details.