Double take

On a recent walk down our driveway, a bit of white on the dark ground of grass and dead leaves caught my eye.  At first I thought it might be a feather but under closer examination I found it was a 4 inch/10 cm seed pod that had split open revealing the seeds still neatly packed. The slightest breeze would lift them up, up and away! I was mesmerized by the beauty of the intricate layers unfolding.

Note the gentle curves on the left end (dark drown exterior/white interior of seed pod) and the light brown spiral on the right that would have been a long edge of the pod.

Beauty in the details.

Flashy Feathers

Having observed a male ruffed grouse drum off and on for the past week or so (see previous post), I was surprised when, this particular day, he changed his resting posture from the usual. He stood taller and extended his tail feathers straight back then began to fan them out.

Apparently he had spotted a hen who answered his invite to rendezvous.
I could hardly believe this was literally unfolding right in front of me and into my camera! Admittedly, seeing this face looking straight at me freaked me out a little! My heart was already pounding at an increased rate.


Look at this gentlemanly bow!

While I focused my attention for a moment on setting the camera to video, he disappeared off the far side of the roof. When I found him again, he was on his merry way to meet his mate.

I was able to watch, but not capture the pair as they waddled away into the safety and privacy of the underbrush.

What a treat to witness the courtship!

The beat goes on

In the past week or so, we’ve been entertained by a male grouse perched on an out building in our backyard. (We recently acquired additional property across the street and apparently, he came with it). He continually performs a love song which he drums on his breast. We can faintly hear this all day long inside the acreage home!

I had only been able to catch him from behind – until this morning!

Having captured images of practically every position of his wings from behind during previous days of drumming, I was thrilled to get the show face on. Here are a few corresponding front and back shots from my image collection.

All that made for an exciting morning but there’s more! You’ll have to wait for the rest of the show….

Blue Flag Iris – May Calendar

I love wild irises for the crisp, pointy deep purple roll that unfurls to display bold, intricate veins of purple. Almost transparent, delicate edges uncurl then curl again.

Enjoy the bold purples and fresh greens of this month’s calendar image.You can find a cell phone lock screen and alternate screen resolutions here.

 

Showers and flowers

April and May respectively. I can’t wait!


For the ‘big screen’ version of the calendar go here.

For the ‘tiny’ screen see below.

May-ish

It certainly seemed like March weather in April would push our April weather into May. Although conditions are still damper and colder than May typically starts out, the ice has darkened and some sprouts of green are appearing. For us it will be a bit yet before blossoms pop but we can enjoy them on our desktop in the meantime.