Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bad Guys and Good

It's not a happy occasion when the garlic mustard flowers, but it's an important one.  We all know that flowers are followed by seeds... in this case, a lot or seeds.  And so, if we're going to remove the garlic mustard from our open spaces, this is about the last opportunity! 
Meanwhile... Serviceberries are flowering.  looking forward to berries in June!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eight Days After

Blue skies!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seven Days After

Those white things are, indeed, snow flurries.

Happy Earth Day!

Yes, that's snow.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rain Brings Rust

The rain yesterday and today have caused the telial horns of the cedar apple rust galls to start swelling. They're not quite as gelatinous and alien-like as I've seen them in the past, but spring is young!

Though this disease is bad for both its hosts -- cedars and apples -- I think those things are cool looking, and I appreciate the complex life cycle involving two host plants. 

Five Days After

Hints of green...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fauna Firsts

Today was this first time this spring I've seen dragonflies (this far north) -- green darners... Though admittedly I haven't been hanging out by water. I love to see them hovering and swooping in the sunlight...

Also had my first close encounter of the year with Sandhill cranes. I've seen them flying far overhead, but today they crossed the trail right in front of me... If I hadn't slowed down, I think I might have collided with them on my bike. They seemed totally nonplussed by this. (I guess I should have gotten a picture but when biking my phone isn't that accessible. Plus I'm not an especially confident cyclist. Yet. This is a silver lining oft only medically sanctioned exercises being swimming and biking... When I'm recovered, I shall be a triathlete!)

Incidentally, I also had a heron fly in and land right by me. Today was a good day for me and large birds.

Not a good day for turtles, as that was my saddest animal encounter today... A flattened painted turtle on the road.

Spring has Sprung

These maple flowers color the suburbs bright, spring green. They... And of course, the buckthorns, a battle I'm already losing... make the world look suddenly, wonderfully alive. The yard is filled with bright reds, oranges and yellows as the daffodils and the early tulips overlap. There is a constant hum of lawnmowers as homeowners begin this endless summer chore...

I'm missing the most beautiful time in the forest as ephemerals bloom (an injury has me off my feet as much as possible) but here are a few of the new flowers in my yard:
Dutchman's breeches
Wild ginger

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Three Days After

Not a lot different.

Friday, April 17, 2015



Two Days After

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Celandine poppies
Prairie smoke
Center of ice stick tulips 
Almost pasqueflower 

Prairie Burn

Today we burnt the prairie across the street from the school... Thought I'd try to take a picture each day as it fills in...

Monday, April 13, 2015


Nuff said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Flowering Willows

Pussy willow
Weeping willow 

Monday, April 6, 2015



Cornelian cherry dogwood

Daffodil (this variety is very early...)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Astronomy Woes

Astronomy and I? We haven't been getting along. 

First, we were supposed to have an astronomy night last night, a chance for students to be able to see what they had learned about in class. We had to make a cancellation decision by the end of the school day, at which point it was mostly cloudy. Predictions were for gradual clearing but not by the time we needed... But it seemed to be happening faster than they were saying... I said this: if we cancel, it will be clear as a bell at 8 pm. If we don't, it will be cloudy. 

I think controlling the weather would be a pretty awesome superpower to have, though a lot of complications... But this was not the type of control I wanted! 

Long story short, using the best days we had, we cancelled. At 8 pm, the sky was cloudless and stars/planets were visible. Of course. (I guess my real issue here is with the weather, not astronomy. Whatever.)

Upside: I have superpowers!

So then, I wanted to see the lunar eclipse this morning. I read the best views would be just before 6:30 (though we wouldn't see it 100% in this area). When I awoke at like 5 am, I thought I saw the moon, eerily orange, out my window. However, I wasn't wearing contact lenses, so that really could have been anything. Chris holding a poster up, alien space ship, streetlight... But I think it was the partly eclipsed moon. Anyhow, knowing the best views were supposed to be over an hour later, I went back to sleep, woke up at 6 am, and.... Moon has set! Can't see it at all! Curses!

Oh well. Jump start on Saturday.

Friday, April 3, 2015



The cornelian cherry dogwoods are almost flowering.
The forsythia is almost flowering.
The serviceberry is almost leafing out.
The lilacs, and the chokeberries, are almost leafing out.
The prairie smoke rosettes almost have flowers, there are almost pasqueflowers.  
Spring seems to be moving so fast, but also so slow!  I walk each morning, impatient for these things -- that seem to be bursting at the seams -- to finally burst out and open... and each morning, maybe tomorrow...
Time marches on.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Constant frog calls