Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Images From Tall Grass Restoration

Falco Peregrinus, a 12 week old Peregrine Falcon. Now there's focus for you.
Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium, as the name suggests it was thought that upon being bitten by a rattlesnake if some of this plant were ingested by the bitee, that the victim would survive. Current science finds it has no true medicinal effect against snake venom. My thought is that in the case of snake bite, where fear and the ensuing rapid breathing, heightened blood pressure, and stress reduce the chance of survival, that the placebo effect might well have helped some people live through the experience.

Cup Plant, Silphium perfoliatum, a nifty relative of one of my other favorites the Compass Plant. Notice how the leaves come together around the stem. It's hard to see in the photo but there is water that has been collected in those shallow depressions during rainfall and that is where many small birds drink.
Here's a gross view of the Cup Plant where you can see the multiple leaves on the flowering stalks which form the cups. Not only is the water source important to birds but also important to microscopic organisms whose live cycles revolve around these small water sources.
Barn Owl, Tyto alba, nearly extirpated from Wisconsin due to lack of habitat, illegal shooting, and rat poison. Our only owl with a white heart shaped face. These guys don't hoot they hiss. They also have an interesting defense movement called toe dusting. If a predator appears while they are roosting, the head goes down and sweeps back and forth just above their toes. It's thought that the move makes them appear to be some kind of scary large mammal to the predator, who then intimidated, goes away.
Blue Vervain, Verbena Hastata, note the spikes where only a few blossoms appear at a time progressing towards the tip.
Partridge Pea, Cassia fasciculata, the drooping dark anthers help identify it from Wild Sensitive Plant, and Wild Senna. Note the pinnate compound leaves similar to the two previously mentioned. Partridge Pea is slightly reactive to touch but less so than Sensitive Plant.

A male Kestrel, Falco sparverious, with the most endearing expression on his face. About the size of a Blue Jay, they do pack a wallop for their small stature. Remember how they swoop at all the Red-tails during nesting season? They're part of the reason that many an RT prefers perching with a little bit of an overhang over their heads when they don't wish to be bothered.
Donegal Browne

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