Praying mantids and turtles

Last evening we saw a half-dozen tiny praying mantids on our deck, so small the camera would not capture them. They must have just hatched out of the egg casing, which I could not find but it must be nearby. I am glad to see them so plentiful. Also this morning a big turtle was crossing an intersection in Forest Park, heading, I hope, back to the water after hauling out to lay her eggs on higher ground, because I put her back near the water in the direction she was headed.

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While sitting on the back steps drinking my coffee on Saturday morning,  I saw a wren going in and out of the wren house we hung from the sycamore, shopping for a place to raise young. His mate did not seem too impressed and kept fussing at him from the nearby mock orange bush. But this morning he was at it again, and she was persuaded, finally, and they have been taking sticks and leaves in all day, building their nest. Also yesterday morning, while I was sitting drinking my coffee, a big boar raccoon came within 3 feet of me, fixing to go up the steps and see if there was any left over cat food. He stank something awful. I was grateful that when I stood up he ran off into the yard and over the fence- that was as close as I wanted to get to that big stinky guy. He must’ve weighed 24 pounds.

Also yesterday I saw 2 rose-breasted grosbeaks.

And today while working out in the yard we saw 4 kinds of warblers

Blackburnian warbler

Black and White warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Magnolia warbler

Also saw catbird, hermit thrush, fox sparrow, hummingbirds at the feeder and sitting in the sycamore tree, and the usual suspects: robins, cardinals.




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Full moon, April 29, 2018


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Arboretum, April 28, 2018







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Forest Park, April 27, 2018




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Arboretum, April 22, 2018

Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) IMG_5789

Prairie IMG_5793

Shooting star in the prairie (Dodecatheon meadia) 

Full pond IMG_5795

Horsechestnut IMG_5801

Fremont’s leather flower (Clematis fremontii)

Bird’s foot violet (Viola pedata pedata) IMG_5816

Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) IMG_5815

Hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canascens) IMG_5818

Bird’s foot violet) Viola pedata lineariloba IMG_5821

Rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) IMG_5825

Liverleaf (Hepatica nobilis) IMG_5827

Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) IMG_5829

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Dennis investigates a murder most fowl.  We think perhaps a wood duck met its fate here, judging by the colors in the feathers.


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Martins, turtles, egrets

On a mid-day walk on this 80-degree day I saw that the martins handily survived our cold spell last week and are busy building nests and catching insects.


Turtles were sunning

A very handsome snowy egret was wading and hunting


And so was an American egret


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