Fun possibilities…

‘Tis the season of the ever loved/hated Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Loved by children. Hated by most adults; myself excluded now that I no longer have my own garden. A child’s eye level view of the Dandelion is the best! Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Close up view of the fun loving seedhead; enticing children of all ages to help spread the seads with a mighty puff of air. Though considered a weed, the Dandelion is edible in it’s entirety. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Considered a weed because the Dandelion is a prolific producer, flourishing almost anywhere. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The future…

Prairie restoration around a migratory bird sanctuary in Lincoln Park. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Seed heads feed birds and insects and make dramatic winter compositions. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Prairie grass in seed, assuring sustainability of native species. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg

Tail of a cat…

Cattails at Volo Bog. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

 

Wet-feet loving Cattail. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Autumn is the time of year when Cattail (typha latifolia)‘s naming is most evident. This is the time of the year that the sturdy brown seed head bursts open to reveal the large fluffy mass of a “cat’s tail”. The Cattail, is ruggedly sturdy and tall, and as if to defy physics, the plants love wet feet, growing in marshy areas or at the edges of ponds and lakes.

It appears that the birds are unaware of the plant’s nickname. The soft fuzzy seeds are sought out as lining for many birds’ nests.

It is always a pleasure to recommend a fellow WordPress blogger’s posting: https://cattails.wordpress.com/facts/ They have more information than I would normally share on a species. Enjoy the read!

Seeds of motherhood…

Mothers sometimes go unnoticed. Under appreciated too often. In addition, sometimes, mothers have the potential to bring forth life in others. Look at this image of literally, the fruit of a mothering tree.

For today, alone, I am ignoring that each plant is usually both male and female. I am using my myopic vision to see plants as the mothers they are, who bear new life fruits from their seeds with the help of other neighboring mother plants.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

A Mother's bounty, Happy Mother's Day to all of nature's mothers. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

A Mother’s bounty, Happy Mother’s Day to all of nature’s mothers. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Brilliant fuzz…

Seeds shining brilliantly in the late afternoon sun at Lincoln Park's. North Pond, Chicago. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Seeds shining brilliantly in the late afternoon sun at Lincoln Park’s. North Pond, Chicago. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Red ear slider turtles sunning near edge of North Pond, Lincoln Park.  Setting for this tree in fuzzy seed stage. copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Red ear slider turtles sunning near edge of North Pond, Lincoln Park. Setting for this tree in fuzzy seed stage. copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Seeds or finished blooms…

The more I know, the more I know I don’t know. I’m unsure what kind of tree this is and if what I’m looking at are stamens and pistols or newly forming seeds. Ugh! But interesting still.

What is this tree? What stage of growth..seeds or spent flowers?  Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

What is this tree? What stage of growth..seeds or spent flowers? Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Spring tree activity at North Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Spring tree activity at North Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Not playing…

One of three opossums, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

One of three opossums warning me to stay away, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Alert opossum under bird feeder, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Alert opossum under bird feeder, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Opossum among the fallen sunflower seeds, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Opossum among the fallen sunflower seeds, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Strange looking, unique in North America, harmless, mistaken as a rodent, its name often used to describe playing dead.

Unless you are visiting a zoo, this is the only marsupial you can see in North America. Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is a common visitor, along with raccoon, to the neighborhood garbage cans. We may have more than an ordinary number of visitors due to our adjacent forest preserve. Late in the afternoon, three young ones were enjoying the spilled sunflower seeds under our birdfeeder. Note to self: Read birdseed labels more careful when purchasing. I thought I bought a bag of mixed seeds but ended up with a bag of sunflower seeds. Until our next order arrives, the sparrows have to do more work in order to get nourishment. In the meantime, the spillage from the feeder is great; much seed is on the ground for other wildlife nourishment.

Fattening up for winter is routine for many Midwestern animals. Sunflowers, with a high fat content, are an appropriate food for this purpose. Most birds need a more balanced diet including sunflowers as only part of their food intake.

For more information the opossum, check out this site: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/directory_show.cfm?species=opossum

Nature’s defense…

Snow packed Arborvitae copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Snow packed Arborvitae copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

These evergreen trees were planted as a privacy wall by a nearby neighbor that faces an open field owned by Commonwealth Edison, our electric company. This winter, their matured growth serves as a sturdy barrier, collecting some of this record-breaking season’s wind-blown snow. What wildlife is huddled down inside keeping relatively dry and warm is left to my imagination; it would be unkind of me to disrupt the dense fortification to seek answers to my wonderings.

These trees are most likely American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘American’), used often for the purpose previously described: to act as a hedge wall. The brown elements showing through the snow are most likely opened cones absent of seeds.

For more information: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/thuja/occidentalis.htm