Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Holiday weekend recap

Had a great Memorial Day weekend, birding and looking for wildflowers in the Toftrees State Gamelands and Black Moshannon State Park.

Black Mo has some of the oldest growth forest land in Pennsylvania, and it's located on the Allegheny Front, fabled western gate to the Appalachians. As such, it's normally cooler than the rest of the area (I recall a camping trip one August with Kat and Em wherein we FROZE... in August.), but this weekend we had record high temperatures and humidity, so it was pretty rough going. Still, I saw my first ever Pink Lady's Slipper!We saw four of them, including one that someone had PICKED and put into the crook of a tree trunk, presumably for later. Aren't they protected from picking?

We saw a lot of great sights. Do you see what I see here?Here they are again:Aren't they the cutest!?

After that, it was all wildflowers a-go-go!
English Plantain

Blurrifically terrible photo of Butter-and-eggs

whoops--now how did this shot get in there? That's Owen, being a sweet brother and grooming his sister Maya!

a baby trillium of some sort--can't wait to see!


Indian Cucumber-root, which is really delicate and beautiful, no?


our state flower, the Mountain Laurel

Orange Hawkweed, or Devil's Paintbrush

Partridge-berry and a white Canada Mayflower


White Baneberry, and here's the beautiful little flower bunch:Pretty sure on this ID based on leaves and flowers, but I'm always open to smarter and more experienced flower minds!

Yellow Pond Lily, right?

I still haven't seen Dutchman's Breeches and it's kinda late in the season for them now, so I'm bummed about that. But I've seen and ID'd a lot of flowers! It's cool to photograph flowers: they don't move, but it's always tough to focus on the flowers themselves rather than the background or foreground.

So that was Sunday. Then on Monday, I went with some local Bird Club members to a place I've walked around but never birded seriously, the state gamelands in Toftrees (a ritzier part of town). Saw some great birds, though no lifers. Still, the birds are in full breeding plumage and brighter than ever!

A Great-crested Flycatcher:Their heads are so funky-shaped.

Here's another flycatcher: This Eastern Kingbird was hanging out about ten feet below the oriole above:You can't see his funky-shaped flycatcher head, but it's there.

The Baltimore Orioles were almost on fire with their bright orange feathers:We saw a few orioles, all of them this absolutely knock-out glowing orange. Awesome!

Also saw some good flowers:Smartweed

POISON HEMLOCK! I always see this stuff and figure it's young Queen Anne's Lace, but it's not. It's all poisonous, the entire flower and plant. Look out.

Kinda cliche, no? Sadly, I couldn't get some direct sunlight glinting on the drops though; otherwise, it'd be a Hallmark card or something.

Barren Strawberries in their not-so-tasty-fruit stage:

An Eastern Painted Turtle:Check out that attitude!

We saw a lot of fouled nests, some with still-soft raw yolks and stuff in the broken eggs:I think all of these were probably disasters rather than hatches, sadly.

So that was the trip. AB was sweet and came along, but a group walk without binocs can be tough--and boring. As her birdday is coming up (Monday), I'm getting her some bins! She says she's excited, and I think it's gonna be so fun really birding with her!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

So many cool photos- I love them all.
my fave is the tiny dew-drops on the strawberry leaves.

John said...

I don't think Pink Lady's-Slipper is on the endangered plant list in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, but other lady's-slipper species are. They really shouldn't be picked anyway because there are so few in any location.

I've only seen the Large Yellow Lady's-Slipper, never the Pink.

troutbirder said...

What a stunning collection of native wildflowers.... I love it. Native orchids seem to be endanger everywhere. The biggest destroyer here in Minn. is people illegally digging them out to transplant. Most dont survive.

dguzman said...

Lynne, I like it too! I really do wish I could've gotten some sunlight glinting on it, though....

John--Yea, there were only the four, scattered pretty widely. It was a thrill to see one finally--the photos of yellow ones make the yellow slipper part look more solid and thick than the petal-like pink one. Is that true?

Troutbirder--that's terrible! I'm glad you liked the photos!

Earl Cootie said...

Clichéd or not, I love the bedewdropped leaves. Reminds me of a kid's drawing of a crown with jewels on the pointy parts.

And we saw a bunch of the Baltimore Orioles' cousins last weekend - Bullock's Orioles. Hurray for Orange Birds!

Anonymous said...


dguzman said...

Earl-cool, they would be lifers for me!

Anonymous said...