Sunday, July 27, 2014

American Coot

These coot run along the water to start flying. After they get airborne they can fly well.

These birds are seen in the water like ducks.

Voice slow low pitched slow grrrr, grrrr, or grrrt or katoot katoot.

When I hunted ducks, I never shot these. I guess they weren't good eating.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Eastern Kingbird

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The white band at the tip of the tail and white breast are good ID indicators. There is also a red crown on their head but is seldom seen.

A courageous bird.  The Kingbird has been known to drive the Bald Eagle from the kiingbird's nesting area.

It is a monogamous breeder over much of N America and winters in in the Amazon area.

Diet insects and fruit. Sometimes it will hover and pounce on prey. I have seen the bird sit on a branch and then swoop down to catch its prey and swing back up the the same branch.

The cow bird will often deposit their eggs in the king birds nest to rise them. But they will usually damage or eject the eggs.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Great Blue Heron

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Caught this Great Blue heron sitting on a post. Later I got him walking away.

Their diet is mostly fish. I enjoy watching them stalk fish and then suddenly pluck one out of the pond.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shingle Oak

Went to see a Shingle Oak I measured in Oct 2010. Looking at the growth in 3 full growing seasons. A tree of this size doesn't have to grow much to increase volume by a lot.

Looking at the bark there are marks showing where there has been branches before. And the top had been broken off because the branches were too mature for new growth. The 80 to 100 foot level of tree around here seems to be the top. Wind will break off tops growing higher. But is that the limiting factor in height growth for this part of the country?

There is always a respect for a tree that is healthy and has grown to be a dominate tree in the area. It is a Shingle oak and these trees are not dominate but they are common.

The tree seems to signal a change from woods to open field. This is a city park so the woods had been cleared out long ago when the park was created. What the park is is a green way that probably has a sewer line running along here. And the opening of this park allows access for pipe maintenance. This activity allows enjoyment of nature for me.

I am sitting currently in a dead end to the grass cutting that has a shelter of trees between the park and housing. A handy way for me to sit down and enjoy a a quite few minutes as I write this up.

It has rained the past 2 days and there is humidity in the air but the temp is under 80 so there is not much discomfort. Life is good in the woods and I enjoy each time I come here. Measuring trees is a way for me to get in the woods.

Right now there are clouds going over and the darkness speaks of rain possibly if the clouds get more uniform.

Yesterday we were walking along the Missouri and we could see rain clouds off in the distance with showers coming down at different spaces in the distance.

We decided to return to the car to miss the rain. I had left my camera in the car just in case I got caught in the rain. There was no use risking my camera for the opportunity of taking a good photo on a cloudy day was not excellent.

Anyway the Shingle oak is the sentinel of the park. Guarding or signifying a change in topography. And cover type. The tree does not have competition for height growth and there is room for branches to spread out across the sides but not enough for advancing branch growth.

Does tight bark give a signal of health growth. IE the growth is fast enough that the fissures of the bark don't have time to thicken?

There is a cottonwood tree to the south which is encroaching on the tree canopy. Notice in the photo how the tree is putting effort into growing more to the north to get away from the Cottonwood tree.

Measuring the diameter of the tree I cut away a poison ivy vine growing up the bole of the tree that would have effected the circumference. This as well will help the health of the tree in the future. Though it might be many years before the vine would have gotten big enough to choke the tree.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


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Hostas are shade loving plants. By the 1950's these plants had fallen out of favor and then in the 1960's they started becoming more popular with gardeners.

 These Hosta plants are growing in my wife's garden.

Hosea 14:7 "Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Red Headed Woodpecker

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Found these woodpeckers along the Missouri river.

Red-headed wood peckers are attracted to burned areas and recent clearings. They usually nest in a hole on a dead tree or a dead branch on a live tree. Red-headed woodpeckers do not use bird houses. Starlings and bluejays will steal their eggs. 

The red head is striking to see. A beautiful bird to watch.

These birds are monogamous. 

Starlings will out compete the Red headed woodpecker for nesting holes.

The Brown headed cow bird will lay its eggs in a Red headed woodpeckers nest, but the woodpecker will not incubate the the eggs.

When light is low the white lower back also is a sure identification sign. The Ivory billed woodpecker also has a white lower back. Yet it is very rare and is twice the size of the Red-headed.

Psalm 19:1
"The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands."

Monday, July 21, 2014


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These Common Mullein flowers are prevalent in this field.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cottonwood Seeds Blowing Down the River

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All the white specks in this photo are Cottonwood seeds blowing down the Missouri river.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Butterfly and Flower

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Looks like another Clouded Sulphur butterfly hovering above these flowers. The color is a little lighter

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bee and Cone Flower

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I caught this bee working in some of our Cone Flowers

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Younger N Red Oak

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We found this younger N Red Oak that I will watch in later years. We were at this site in March 2011.

We went back looking to see young advanced regeneration. This tree looks really promising.

The stem is not completely straight but it is healthy and there is a slight opening in the canopy for it to grow towards.

circumferance 13.25"
Height  44'
Canopy 20' x 21'
Total 62 points

Notice the paw paw plant growing in the canopy above Chuck.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

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Walking through a natural  field I noticed this butterfly. These butterflies are common.

Clouded Sulphur butterfly on thistle flower.