Saturday, June 27, 2009

Butterflies and Berries

Our first butterflies of the year emerged from their chrysalises today!

We still have two more chrysalises. One of the caterpillars made its in a somewhat precarious place!

We saw a few ripe raspberries today. The first ones of the year! Not enough to eat yet, but in a week or so we should be loaded. We were able to gorge on Juneberries and Mulberries by Wingra Creek today though.

Elderberries are blooming. The kids like the berries in the fall. We'll have to remember to look for them.

I see the above flower every year by Wingra Creek. I think it is planted, and not a wildflower. Any ideas what it is?

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Blooms

I saw the first Queen Anne's Lace flowers of the year by Monona Bay today.

Also by Monona Bay, I saw Linden trees blooming. I have been trying to catch them blooming for years since the flowers are edible. We finally got to eat them today! They were alright, not great, and not bad.

The Creeping Bellflowers in our yard bloomed today.

One Milkweed flower bloomed in our yard today.

I noticed Purslane in our garden today. A tasty treat!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

We went for a walk at the Arboretum to celebrate the Solstice. We saw lots and lots of flowers blooming. Here is a sampling, with my best guesses for what they are. Happy Summer Solstice!


Prairie Smoke

Prairie Coreopsis

Some kind of sunflower


June Grass

Downy Wood Mint
Compass Plant

Common Yarrow

Canada Anemone

Some kind of cactus


Blue-eyed Grass

Wild Quinine

White Wild Indigo

Tall Beard-Tongue

We now have three chrysalises in our bedroom:

Colorful times

I saw my first Chicory flower on Saturday. I love the bright blue color.

The first Daylily in our yard.

The first ripe Juneberries (which I ate.)

I think I solved the mystery of the above unknown plant that I first mentioned here. From what I've read, it is probably Narrow-leaved Plantain (which is in the same genus as Common Plantain that is found as a weed in yards.)

Another beautiful color that I found yesterday on the bike path by the tunnel under John Nolen Drive. I had never seen this plant before. From the wildflower identification books, it looks to me like the name of this flower is Four-o'clock.

I found this on the bike path by Wingra Creek near the tunnel too. It sure looks like some kind of geranium, but I couldn't find one that seemed to exactly match in the books I have.

This was growing by our back door, and I've never seen it before either! It might be White Avens.

I found this by Wingra creek, near the bridge to Quann park. I've never seen it before. I haven't had a chance to look very hard, but so far, I have no idea what the above might be.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Middle of June

We heard our first crickets of the year on Monday night! I saw my first fireflies on Wednesday, but Dan and Maynie said that they saw them at the Arboretum on June 7 on their full moon walk.

I found Motherwort blooming in our raspberry patch like I did last year. I never even knew that this plant existed before then.

One of the weeds that grew up in our garden while we were gone was this over 6 feet tall weed. It flowered on Monday. I looked it up, and it might be Poison Hemlock! I will remove it today!

On the bike path behind the pool, since Monday I've seen Common Saint Johnswort blooming.

I have also seen another plant there (you can see some of it in the picture above too). This plant I've never seen before this year. I think it is either Hairy Vetch or Cow Vetch. I will have to take a closer look. Here's a picture of the vetch just by itself:

I've seen another purple flower belonging to the pea family close to this one (on Rowell St.). I think it is alfalfa. I don't think I've ever noticed it before this year either!

The Field Thistles have looked ready to burst into flower for a while, but I saw my first open flower on Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Still catching up -- June 12 and 13

I came down with the flu on June 1, and was wiped out for quite a while. Friday, June 12 was the first day the kids and I got out for a bike ride by Wingra creek and Quann park.

We noticed that the Black Locust flowers were done blooming. A pity because they are tasty. We missed them this year because of our traveling and sickness!

We also saw lots of large fish thrashing around in Wingra Creek. That must have been the peak day, because I've seen a fish now and then thrashing around since then, but not very many. Anyone know what kind of fish that is? Was it laying eggs?

We also saw Cottonwood tree seeds everywhere. It looked like it was snowing!

We found our first monarch caterpillar of the season!

We also saw the following wildflowers:

Birds-foot Trefoil

Daisy fleabane

Crown Vetch

Bittersweet Nightshade

And this weed unknown to us (maybe thimbleweed?) (Please see here for my further thoughts on this.)

Saturday, June 13 was the first day I biked by Lake Monona. I saw Wild Parsnip, Common Yarrow, Hedge Bindweed, Field Bindweed, Sweet Yellow Clover, some kind of Cinquefoil (maybe Sulphur?)and Ox-Eye Daisies blooming.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beginning of June

When we returned from our trip on June 1, we were amazed how much of a jungle our yard and garden had become. Things grow fast here at the end of May! We also saw spittlebugs on all kinds of plants. I don't think I've ever seen so many spittlebugs before. Maybe an extra good year for them?

When we looked in our yard, we found raspberries blooming. We saw black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) trees in bloom on our ride back from the airport.

Also, blooming in and around our yard were:
White Clover

Black Medick

White Campion

Goat's Beard (Tragopogon dubius)

and Pineapple Weed (which for some reason the Blogger keeps rotating)

On June 3, we found ripe wild strawberries in our garden (Fragaria vesca). Our Rose bush bloomed in June 6.