We have found it to be a great place to see many different kinds of birds, plants, trees, frogs, etc. Last year, I had the privilege of taking a visiting friend to the conservation area. She and her daughter were privileged enough to even get bit by some of our state bird (cough....mosquito! heehee!). Since they visited in the summer when all the plants were well into their life cycle, I thought I would share some of the pictures I took last week to show it at the beginning of the season. I took the pictures with my friends in mind. I hope you enjoy them.
>>A beautiful, flowering tree in the wooded area just off of the parking lot. I am still working on the tree name for this one. I love this time of year.
>> By mid-summer, the grasses are about 3-4 feet all through here. Right now, they are just a few inches. Sometimes, they will do a controlled burn in the prairie zones. G3 was very excited to know that bluebirds happen to live in the birdhouse in the middle. I missed seeing it, but the children actually saw an altercation between a bluebird and some robins in the area (in the trees behind me). I suspect there was a territory violation.
<<In this picture, on the left side of the trail in, when my friends were here, this was full of a wildflower that I had not ever seen before in that area. I suspect it was something new that was seeded in that area.
>>The prairie area here would be on the right side of the picture above. In this area, there are flowering plants that grow well over 7 feet tall. It is amazing to walk through this zone and be simply dwarfed by the plants. Right now, we are dwarfing the plants. In a few weeks, not so much. It is amazing how quickly plants can grow!
<<The large green "tufts" in this picture on the left are the beginnings of some of those huge plants. The picture just below on the right is a close up of the same plant, but from a different area. No name for it at the moment, but I will when it flowers this summer.
|A close up of one of the unnamed tufts.|
<< This one of my favorite plants in the prairie zone. In early fall, when it is dried out, the huge leaves make this fabulous dry, rattling sound. I cannot explain it, but it is the most amazing sound to me. Isn't that just silly? This one and the one just above it are ones we are researching the names
|This one has the answer to one of the clues.|
|One of the many ponds in the wetlands area.|
|Seed spreading, lol!|
Garlic Mustard plant. Pretty, but an invasive species originating in Europe. Edible.
Two of my hikers:
G3 on the left and M3 on the right. G3 is bound and determined that we will NOT get lost.
|The deer lay here.|
<< Common Blue Violet. If you look closely, there is some Garlic Mustard plant hiding in there.
>>I just love the contrast of life and death here.