Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

July 24th, 2014. 
Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica formerly Belamcanda chinensis)  
Walton County, GA

We bought some plant starts a year ago. I didn’t really expect them to bloom this year but…
The Blackberry Lily is native to southeast Asia. I saw them first beside the road, in Jones County, Georgia, just north of the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. They get their name from the ripen seeds which look like blackberries

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Surveying His Kingdom

July 25th, 2014. 
Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) 
Walton County, GA

This little guy was sitting on the concrete steps at the end of the house near his burrow and ‘chipping’ for almost 30 minutes. It's believed that the chipping sound may warn chipmunks of ground predators in the area but I couldn’t see anything that was threatening for him but…

We seem to have two, or maybe three, different families of chipmunks based on the locations of burrow entrances, the lack of mixing of the different chipmunks, and some ‘animosity’ between chipmunks coming to the bird feeding area.

 In the Spring, it wasn’t unusual for one chipmunk to climb a small stump and sit and ‘chip’ for about 30 minutes or longer. There were no apparent threats in the area. Squirrels in the area displayed no animosity towards the chipmunks but I have observed chipmunks to chase squirrels away from the area on some occasions. I wondered if the chipmunks are chipping simply to assert their territorial rights.

Listen to the ‘chip’ sound in the second half of Lang Elliott’s recording here.

Reference sound: 

Monday, July 28, 2014

White-tailed Deer: I’m b-a-a-a-ck…

I'm waiting for you to get your camera...
I need to get on with my morning...
Think I'll eat this one...
I'm beautiful... Don't you think so?
Is this my best side?
I heard you and I'm keeping my ear on you... 
July 25th, 2014. 
White-tailed deer visits in the morning. 
Walton County, GA

She comes by periodically to browse on plants around the house. On this morning she stayed out in the open for quite some time. I wondered why I hadn’t seen a fawn with her. Then last Saturday evening, I think I saw her in an opening in the woods with a fawn. She was giving it its weekly bath – from head to foot – before they wandered off towards the field.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cool me, cool me…

July 16th, 2014. 
Female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) cooling itself in a breeze. 
Walton County, GA

The temperatures were in the low 90s F. This female cardinal had spread and fluffed feathers to capture the cooling effect of a brisk breeze.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Fivelobe cucumber (Cayaponia quinqueloba)

July 17th, 2014. 
Fivelobe Cucumber (Cayaponia quinqueloba) 
Piedmont NWR, Jasper County, GA

We spotted this cucumber plant near one of the many fords in the refuge. Some still had remnants of the flowers attached. These fruit will turn red as they ripen.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina)

July 17th, 2014. 
Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) on grass stem at Pond 2A 
Piedmont NWR, Jasper County, GA

Halloween Pennants are common at Pond 6A and Pond 2A in the Fall; there were just a few at this visit. This pennant, a male, was perched in a breezy area and was moving its wings rapidly to maintain its balance. 
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis)

July 17th, 2014. 
Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis) on sedge stem at Pond 6A 
Piedmont NWR, Jasper County, GA

This is the first time that I’ve seen a Golden-winged Skimmer. They may be found throughout Georgia from May through September.
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