Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Prairie Fame-flower!

Prairie Fame-flower

Determined to see the rare Prairie Fame-flower in bloom, I once again returned to Spring Green Preserve early this evening and was delighted to find several ephemeral blooms of this rare succulent! After having cased out a small patch of this species a few days ago, I was surprised at the number of plants actually growing in the prairie that seem to only become evident when the blooms draw attention.  Early evening seems to be an optimal time to catch this ephemeral bloom. Fear not the heat. Just bring plenty of water.

Prairie Fame-flower with hoverfly

My visit this evening was relatively brief, just over an hour or so in the 90+ degree heat.  

Here's a few notes from the field....

Punctured Tiger Beetles continue along the sandy path in good numbers.

Punctured Tiger Beetle

More Dotted  Horsemint is blooming.

Dotted Horsemint

The Hoary Vervain continues to bloom along the entrance path, but is less numerous.  I was able to find an anomalous nearly all white bloom of this species.

Hoary Vervain
Hoary Vervain

Clustered Poppy Mallow
The Clustered Poppy Mallow I discovered a few days ago already seems on its way out.  The Prairie Tick-trefoil I found on the east side of the prairie, which seemed to have just started blooming a few days ago, had no blooms to be found.  While the majority of these plants are adapted to the dry desert environment, several appeared more wilted on this particularly hot day.

Clustered Poppy Mallow

There weren't as many robberflies around this evening, but I managed to spot a few along the path.


I detected either a racerunner or skink, but never had a sufficient look to make an ID.

The Lark Sparrows were numerous and singing and the Grasshopper Sparrows were few. Bluebirds, Dickcissels and Field Sparrows continue to sing as well.

Each visit, I wonder about that second year male Blue Grosbeak seen earlier this spring.  It hasn't been detected in over a month.  I assume perhaps he moved on.

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