Jack Go To Bed at Noon

Do you ever wonder why some plants have the strangest names? There’s this interesting plant I keep seeing in the meadow behind the school. And it turns out it has a very strange name.

Jack Go to Bed at Noon

Jack Go to Bed at Noon

In my research to find out what I had photographed in the field, I found the name: Jack Go To Bed at Noon. The reason it’s called that is that this flower closes itself at noon, except on cloudy days. It does go by another name as well: Meadow Goatsbeard.

Jack Go To Bead At Noon Open

Jack Go To Bead At Noon at Seed Stage

The reason for that name is because when the flower goes to seed it apparently reminded someone of a goat’s beard. Can you think of a strange name from a flower you’ve come across? Let me know in the comments.

Robin

Robin

As I headed home a robin came to bid me farewell. Well, that’s what I like to think it did. 😀

Birds of a Feather?

After yesterday’s tragic circumstances (see yesterday’s blog) I decided to only photograph the birds that were visiting the yard. First up was the robin. She was easy to find and photograph since she was in the nest with her little ones.

Robin Nesting

Robin Nesting

After a few photos she flew out of the nest and hopped around the yard. I decided to sit in the shade and watch her for awhile to see what she was up to. Eventually she came closer and closer…and closer. I think three feet was as close as she wanted come and I was able to get some great shots of her because of her boldness.

Curious Robin

Curious Robin

I don’t think I have every been that close to a robin before. At the other side of the yard a couple mourning doves flew down onto the fence and hung out for awhile as I was shooting (more like trying to shoot) some sparrows – who would not sit still. One of the doves was much more accommodating as it sat and eyed me suspiciously for a few minutes before flying off.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

While she sussed out what I wanted I got a couple of good shots before she finally flew off with her mate. It turned out to be a very nice (and successful) break from my work.

Feeling Sorry for Food

I was couped up for too long today so I took a break out in the backyard for some fresh air. As I pulled open the screen door I noticed this moth(?) fly from the screen to the ground. I quickly ran upstairs for the camera and my macro lens so I could get a quick shot before it disappeared.

Fuzzy Moth

Fuzzy Moth

What I didn’t realize was that this moth would be lunch to a hungry robin very soon (and it may or may not have been my fault). In getting some of my shots the moth finally had enough and flew away right in the eyeline of the robin in the tree above.

Robin

Robin

Needless to say that robin fed her chicks some moth lunch that day. Sorry little moth.

Presqu’ile and Amherst Island

Today marks the start of a weekend adventure to the Ottawa valley with my friends Nigel Banks and Paul Berkloo. Our first destination was Presqu’ile Provincial Park to find some birds. Migration season has started and our hope was to catch some of the shorebirds that usually pass through the area during this season. The first bird we found? A robin.

Spring Robin

Spring Robin

LOL yup no other birds in sight but robins. We knew there had to be different birds around so we continued further into the park towards the lighthouse. Exploring the lighthouse area by foot we did see some swans and a few ducks but they were so far out in the water and hiding amidst the ice that we just couldn’t get anything decent. We were lucky enough to run into a birder who told us of an area further eastward along the shore that would have lots of swans and various duck congregating together. After getting some directions we jumped in the car and headed out of the park. Along the road we saw some Cedar Waxwings flying in and out of the brush.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

I caught a few shots but branches and awkward shadows kept getting in the way. We moved on from here and headed to this apparent gold mine of birds. He wasn’t kidding around; as we turned a corner into a small cove all you could see were waterbirds.

Redhead and Goldeneye

Redhead and Goldeneye

Swans, Cackling Geese, Redheads and Goldeneyes all swimming around each other not paying each other any mind. It was amazing. I had never seen so many different birds mingling together as though they were at a cocktail party. Fantastic – I didn’t know where to point my camera first. The only issue was isolating each bird to get some shots.

Too soon we had to leave and make our way over to the ferry terminal for Amherst Island. There was one bird I hopped to still photograph today and that was the Snowy Owl. We weren’t long on the island before we saw our first Snowy. Nestled in some snow on a field I’m surprised we saw it at all. We continued searching for more as we drove along the shore road. We looked high and low for another snowy and in the process we glimpsed an American Kestrel but still no snowy until far in the distance, we spotted one sitting at the top of an old tree.

Majestic Snowy

Majestic Snowy

Finally! But why did they all have to be so far? Well it seems luck was not on our side and we headed back to ferry terminal. From here we drove to Ottawa and the next leg of our journey.