Early Summer Prairie

Early-Summer-Prairie_0698
After a brief storm this evening the skies cleared and light flooded the prairie. This is the “5-Acre Prairie” just east of the Prairie Garden Trust Visitor Center.

If you look closely you will see Lead Plant, Mountain Mint, Grey-headed Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susan.

Share
Posted in Flowers, Prairie | Leave a comment

Gray-headed Coneflower

Gray-headed Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Gray-headed Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata


We just got back from a short trip and were eager to see what’s coming in to bloom here at the PGT. The Gray-headed Coneflowers can be seen blooming just south of the PGT Visitor Center in the Dogleg Prairie. The American Lotus is also coming on nicely. We saw about a dozen cabbage sized flowers in full-bloom on the edge of the Lotus Ponds.

I took this picture of the Gray-headed Coneflower after we went out for a picnic lunch. I was very pleased with the clouds.

Share
Posted in Flowers, Prairie | Leave a comment

Great Spangled Fritillary

Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele

Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele

The warm wet weather is bringing on summer flowers and that is bringing out the butterflies. This morning I photographed this Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly on a Pale Purple Coneflower here at the Prairie Garden Trust. The milkweeds are also starting to bloom and you can always see butterflies on them.

Share
Posted in Butterflies & Moths, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PGT Wildflower Walk

George Yatskievych leads the Wildflower Walk

George Yatskievych leads the Wildflower Walk

25 people showed up for the wildflower walk today even though it’s been raining on-and-off all week. George Yatskievych entertained us with fun facts about every plant we pointed out. Two plants that I found especially interesting:
• Prairie Milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) – which I thought was a dark flowered common milkweed. It’s a new species for me and one that the butterflies should love.

• Green-Fringed Orchid (Platanthera lacera) – even though it was over a foot tall I wouldn’t have seen it because the green coloration blends in so well with the surrounding foliage.

George is is the Director of the Flora of Missouri Project at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I can’t imagine someone being better at leading a wildflower walk. Thank you George!

Share
Posted in Events, Events & People, Flowers, Plants | Comments Off on PGT Wildflower Walk

Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler, Geothlypis formosa

Kentucky Warbler, Geothlypis formosa


Migration keeps bringing in new birds every day. Today I got a very good look at an American Redstart but it was so high up in the treetops that I could not get a photograph.

Kentucky Warblers are also challenging to photograph. They never seem to step out of the shadows. I photographed this one today in the Eastern Valley; about a 10-minute walk from the PGT Visitor Center.

Share
Posted in Birds | Comments Off on Kentucky Warbler

Big Day at the PGT

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera


I found 80 different kinds of birds as I walked around the 600-acres here at the PGT today. I started sunrise and stopped only when a rainstorm popped up in the late afternoon. My pedometer says I walked 8.5 miles and I believe it. My feet are tired!

Using the App called BirdLog NA made it easy to keep track of what I was seeing in the field. When I was done it uploads to eBird.org When you go there look for the Hotspot called Prairie Garden Trust.

The Tennessee Warblers were a bit overwhelming. I reported identifying 78 throughout the day but I’ll be it was many more. Their loud song seemed to be coming from everywhere!
Canada Goose 8
Northern Bobwhite 5
Wild Turkey 5
Great Blue Heron 12
Green Heron 2
Turkey Vulture 11
Red-shouldered Hawk 5
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Mourning Dove 9
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 9
Chimney Swift 6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 12
Red-bellied Woodpecker 9
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 12
Acadian Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher 2
Eastern Phoebe 8
Great Crested Flycatcher 5
Eastern Kingbird 4
White-eyed Vireo 1
Yellow-throated Vireo 2
Philadelphia Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 4
Blue Jay 19
American Crow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 8
Purple Martin 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Tufted Titmouse 18
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
House Wren 1
Carolina Wren 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 23
Eastern Bluebird 10
Swainson’s Thrush 2
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 2
Brown Thrasher 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 1
Ovenbird 2
Worm-eating Warbler 3
Louisiana Waterthrush 2
Blue-winged Warbler 7
Golden-winged Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 3
Tennessee Warbler 78
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 5
Kentucky Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 18
Northern Parula 8
Yellow Warbler 1
Blackpoll Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Yellow-throated Warbler 1
Prairie Warbler 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 7
Eastern Towhee 5
Chipping Sparrow 6
Field Sparrow 19
Henslow’s Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Summer Tanager 7
Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 18
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 23
Red-winged Blackbird 23
Eastern Meadowlark 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 9
Baltimore Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 56
House Sparrow 5

Share
Posted in Birds | Comments Off on Big Day at the PGT

Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus


A Cooper’s Hawk chased two Black-billed Cuckoos through the tree tops along Beaver Lake this morning. The hawk missed it’s meal but I was able to get this shot as one of the birds paused.

We see Yellow-billed Cuckoo much more often than Black-billed Cuckoos here.

Share
Posted in Birds | Comments Off on Black-billed Cuckoo

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra

Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra


Summer Tanagers are fairly common but seldom seen since they seem to hang out behind the leaves in the tops of tall trees.For this shot from this morning we were up high enough on sloping ground to get a good look at this bird basking in the morning sunlight.

Share
Posted in Birds | Comments Off on Summer Tanager

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus


I went out a couple days ago and found this vireo in a thicket near our family cemetery. The unusual eye color makes this a stunning bird.

Share
Posted in Birds | Comments Off on White-eyed Vireo

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea


It was such a pretty day today that I took two long walks. On the walk this afternoon I photographed this hyperkinetic Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. These tiny birds are very common at the PGT but they move so fast that it’s hard to get a good look at them.

Share
Posted in Birds | Comments Off on Blue-gray Gnatcatcher