Thursday, September 19, 2013


New England Aster

Though not quite as bad as last year, much of southern Wisconsin has been experiencing moderate to severe drought this summer. Over the past few days we've gotten some much needed rain and it's restoring a little color in the form of wildflowers. Feeling better, I've resumed birding at Pheasant Branch Conservancy in search of wood warblers and other southbound migratory birds.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

If there's a signature songbird voice for summer at the creek corridor, it belongs to the otherwise inconspicuous Eastern Wood-Pewee. It repeats its name "pee-ah-wee" with the first phrases of its song, and then lets out what sounds like a plaintive sigh. It's somewhat comical to listen to. They're certainly not a showy bird, but the corridor wouldn't be the same experience without their song. It's just one of many little things that makes the conservancy a special place to visit.

Amber Snail

There are a lot of other little things at the conservancy that can easily go unnoticed, like this docile snail or maybe a menacing looking jumping spider. One thing for sure, no poison ivy plant will ever go unnoticed by me again. What a nightmare! I'm finally feeling much improved.

Thanks for all the well-wishes!

Jumping Spider (unidentified species)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit seed berries

All images © 2013 Mike McDowell