Teasel can make for interesting and appealing photographs. It is also used in floral displays. Considered invasive in the US, it seems tough and spreads easily,
More information -
"Common teasel, also called Fuller's teasel, is a tall, somewhat spiny, short-lived perennial or biennial that dies after it goes to seed. The distinctive seed heads are popular in floral arrangements. Originally from Europe and northern Africa, common teasel was first introduced to North America in the 1700's and has since spread from coast to coast. Most often seen on roadsides and waste areas, teasel also invades agricultural fields and pastures. It is often spread by the practice of mowing standing plants after they have formed seeds."
I think I might like a Trumpet Vine to attract hummingbirds. The only thing that holds me back is the fact that the plant grows so big, something we really wouldn't want in our back yard. Anyone have experience with the Trumpet Vine and flower? The flowers are quite attractive. By the way, can you spot the two ants on the flowers?
Some facts about the Trumpet Vine -
Height: From 8 to 20 feet or more
Width: Climbs to 30 feet
Flower Color: Orange, Red
Foliage Color: Chartreuse/Gold
Seasonal Features: Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Problem Solvers: Drought Tolerant
Special Features: Attracts Birds, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
An Old Friend From Work
I saw an old friend and former workmate at Lane Transit District on a walk in Delta Ponds yesterday. We are both retired now and don't see each other often, but I have run into him on the Riverbank Trail. It's always good to see Ted. And I liked his attire for protection from the hot sun.
A Heron Goes Hunting
I thought this Great Blue Heron was going to come up with something when it got into this low stance. But alas, it came up empty! But the Great Blue and Green Herons are quite successful and I see them catching nice large fish almost every time I go to Delta Ponds. And I really liked the pose and reflection anyway.
Flowers in a Frame
I know, these roses aren't really in a frame. They are behind a fence, but I thought it made a nice composition. And I like the nice soft colors of the petals. It's another find on a morning walk.
A Hawk Next Door
What a wonderful surprise I got this morning when I went out my door to walk to the drugstore. A bird landed on the fence ahead of me. It looked to be too big to be a Scrub Jay. The bird then flew to the roof of the garage next door. I rushed back to my house to exchange cameras for one that had a longer zoom. When I got back the bird was still there, fortunately. Upon examining the photos, I see one leg sort of hanging down in some pictures. I wondered if the leg was injured. You see the leg hanging way down in this photo. The hawk flew away after a while, so I couldn't tell for sure.
I checked some of my references and thought it to be a Red-shouldered Hawk. It has the same black and white stripes across the tail feathers and reddish striped head, which the Red-tailed hawk, of course, doesn't have. Feedback suggests that this is more likely a Cooper's Hawk. We live in town, in a residential area and I don't recall seeing a hawk so close to home before. As Jack explained, Cooper's Hawks like to hunt in residential areas. So that does fit. One feature of the Cooper's Hawk in my bird books is black on top of the head, unlike this one. On the other hand, it seem that birds can vary at different stages in life and at different times of year. Whatever the hawk, it was pretty exciting for me! :)
Ah, confusion (on my part) cleared up! Thanks Tom. I checked online and books, and sure enough you are right! The hawk I photographed is a juvenile Cooper's Hawk. The adults have the black on top of the head.
The Edible Lupine
The Lupine is not only a beautiful plant, but the seeds have long been used for food. It is of the legume family, which includes alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind.
According to Wikipedia - "Seeds of various species of lupins have been used as a food for over 3000 years around the Mediterranean and for as much as 6000 years in the Andean highland, but they have never been accorded the same status as soybeans or dry peas and other pulse crops... Users soaked the seed in running water to remove most of the bitter alkaloids and then cooked or toasted the seeds to make them edible."
Large and Small
The Great Egret and the Green Heron are both of the heron family, but the difference in size is great! I didn't realize how great until I saw them close together. I think this Green Heron is a youngster, thus perhaps a bit smaller than the adult. But still the picture shows just how big the Great Egret, as well as the Great Blue Heron, really are!
According to the National Geographic website, here are some Great Egret facts:
Average life span in the wild:15 years
Size: Body, 37 to 41 in (94 to 104 cm)
Wingspan, 4.3 to 4.8 ft (1.3 to 1.5 m)
Weight:2.2 lbs (1 kg)
The Great Blue Heron is slightly larger and heavier.
Average life span in the wild:15 years
Size:Body, 3.2 to 4.5 ft (1 to 1.4 m)
Wingspan, 5.5 to 6.6 ft (1.7 to 2 m)
Weight:4.6 to 7.3 lbs (2.1 to 2.5 kg)
The Green Heron is much smaller, the smallest North American heron:
"This bird is 17-22" in length with a wingspan of 25-26". Green herons are small and stocky, with legs that are relatively short, compared to other herons. Their body length ranges from 41 to 46 centimeters. Adults have a glossy greenish-black cap and back, wings that are black grading into green and/or blue on the edges, and a grey underbelly. The bill of a green heron is dark with a long, sharp point and the legs are orange. Female adults tend to be smaller, with duller and lighter plumage than that seen in males, particularly in the breeding season." http://thewebsiteofeverything.com/animals/birds/Ciconiiformes/Ardeidae/Butorides-virescens
Downy Woodpecker Dining
I don't know what the plant is, but it grows like a weed in Delta Ponds. It probably is a weed, but there is plenty to eat for a small bird like the Downy Woodpecker. I was fortunate to get a chance to shoot some pictures and pull it in with a telephoto zoom, it also required a good bit of cropping. I liked the results; the colors were helped along by bright sunshine.
Froggy went a-courting, then he croaked.
Well ok, I don't know if he was courting but he was croaking. Bullfrogs aren't native to Delta Ponds.
However, the herons, egrets and river otters there sure like them.
Clouds Over Delta Ponds
I thought these clouds were so beautiful, especially with the bits of blue showing through. We have had clouds for a couple days now, but no rain. We need that! It is getting so dry! We used to get rain in summer, at least some. In recent years, all we get is heat, sometimes extremely high, for us anyway. I enjoyed my walk in Delta Ponds. There was a bit of coolness in the air during the morning. That's Spencer Butte in the distance. I climbed that a couple times last year.
A Girl I am Sweet On!
I haven't posted a photo of Carol recently, so thought I would share this one.