Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hairy Puccoon

Each year, I look forward to my spring trip to Leopold's shack for several reasons, and one of them is the hoary puccoon in bloom. Its brilliant orange-yellow color, deep as an ocean, is just, I think, the prettiest shade. This year, due to the cool spring, or the one-week-earlier schedule of our trip, hoary puccoon was not in bloom. So I was very excited, the following week, to come across what I though was hoary puccoon at Warren Dunes the following week. Turns out it's actually hairy puccoon, a close relative that seems pretty much indistinguishable to me, but I'm trusting the MDNR website. So here is my inaccurate rendering of its un-copyable color...

PS -- The puccoon disappointment at the Shack was more than made up for by this experience: we were sitting right in front of the shack itself, almost ready to enter, looking at pictures of the Leopold family's journies to the destination in the 40s. We hear the unmistakable, primordial call of cranes overhead. We all crane our necks (no pun intended) to see them... and above us, we see a pair, soaring... with black wingtips and pure white bodies. That's right. Whooping cranes flew over our heads as we sat in front of Aldo Leopold's shack. We were blessed (but not blessed enough to get a photo).

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