Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Autumn Equinox! (one day late)

This is the time of year I feel slow, so my posting for the Autumnal Equinox is a day late. My other excuse is that it rained record amounts for Sept 22 in Madison yesterday, so I couldn't really take any pictures. Of course, I don't care for my pictures from today that much either, so I'm just left with a late post with not so good pictures!

This is the season for asters. We found lots of different varieties of them at the Arboretum. I don't think I can name them, and it would take me more time than I have to figure them out.


Recently, I noticed this flower all over our backyard:

I had never noticed it before this year. I looked it up, and I think it is Devil's Beggar's Ticks (Bidens vulgata or Bidens frondosa). It produces some nasty burs in the fall, and I certainly have gotten lots of those on my clothes in the fall! I was glad to solve the mystery of those sticky seeds because every year I did wonder what plant produced them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


The Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) in the neighborhood has been gorgeous for a week or two.

I saw this Northern Flicker in our backyard today. It is only the second time I have seen this bird, and only the first time I have gotten such a close look at it! It must be migrating somewhere. I love the spring and the fall for all the birds that stop by here that don't ordinarily come to our yard.  A week ago I saw a hummingbird in our yard for the second time (the first time was in the spring).

I have been seeing lots of robins in our neighborhood for the past few days. I think these are ones that are migrating, not our usual resident ones. Here's wishing them a safe and good trip!

We are having the first rain of September right now! The plants will be happy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Have the birds gone?

We were in Montana from Aug 20 to Aug 27. Since we've been back, I haven't seen wrens or robins in our neighborhood. I saw lots of robins at Westmorland park today. I wonder if these were birds passing through, or robins are just gone from our neighborhood (and all the other places I regularly visit in Madison), but are still around in other parts of Madison.

There were a few barn swallows left at the end of August, but in a few days, they too disappeared from our neighborhood.

I had never noticed before how early the birds leave our neighborhood.

I am seeing more of the birds that stay -- chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers and goldfinches. I even heard a chickadee singing as recently as 3 days ago. I am paying close attention to see if the chickadees ever do stop singing before I start noticing their singing again in December.

I was surprised to notice today that leaves are already turning color. Fall is just around the corner!