Friday, April 3, 2009

Mystery solved!

Thanks to Jen Lynch for solving the mystery of the flowers! They are snowdrops. They are not a wildflower from around here, that's why I couldn't find it in my wildflower books. We didn't plant it though, so we must have a squirrel to thank for planting these bulbs from somewhere! We also found some more snowdrops behind our shed. They are amazing flowers because when we had a few inches of snow on Saturday, I assumed they would not survive it, but no, they were still there when the snow melted! Here is a picture of the ones behind our shed:

Today our daffodils bloomed!

Even though we haven't had much warmth, there are lots of green things poking out here and there, many of which I can't identify. Notable for our family among the greens I can identify are violet leaves (full of vitamin C and enjoyed by my daughters) and catnip leaves (enjoyed by cats, and also my daughters. Luckily, they don't cause intoxication in humans!)

Here are the violets:

Here is the catnip:

Also up are daylily leaves. The shoots and tubers are edible in spring. However, we've tried them, and are not particularly fond of them.

I saw lots of loons on lake Monona today while biking by it. I don't think I've ever seen so many loons. I even heard the loons calling - not their haunting sound, but what my Backyard Birdsong Guide calls the male's yodel song. I also saw some loons doing the loon dance to chase away other birds. I also saw a couple of loons with fish in their beaks. I've seen loons over the last 4 or 5 years on Lake Monona every year, but I've never seen so many of them doing so many different things before! It was quite a treat.

Here is what I usually catch the loons doing:

I saw large numbers of another bird on Lake Monona. These birds swam in large groups, unlike the loons who seem to keep their distance from each other. They also dove down quite a bit like the loons. I have never seen this kind of bird before, and I was having trouble identifying it. I looked around on the internet and found that someone saw Red-breasted Mergansers on Lake Monona yesterday. My best guess is that I saw the same bird this person did, but I have to say that I'm not completely convinced. Here are some pictures of them. They're not great pictures, but let me know if you have an opinion of what they might be.

And last but not least, I finally photographed our resident groundhog today. He hibernated under our shed, and was first seen on March 21st. Here he/she is:

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