Last week I introduced a new feature to my page called My Nature Connection Journal.
It turns out it is a little harder to keep this up-to-date than I expected. Nevertheless, I added 18 birds, 1 new animal, and 7 new plants. One of the highlights from this week was finally being able to make the connection between the White-throated Sparrow and its song. The White-throated Sparrow is a common visitor to my neighborhood and easily distinguished because of its stripped crown and yellow supraloral patch. The supraloral area is above the lores, which is the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head. The White-throated Sparrow’s song is described as thin whistle that sounds like Oh-Sweet-Canada-Canada or Old-Sam-Peabody-Peabody and last for about 4 seconds.
I have heard this song for years and have seen the bird for years, but have never been able to make the connection. It was through a random comment from a friend that I was able to put these two things together. It was so nice to finally be able to solve that mystery.
Another highlight from this week is the arrival of the spring ephemerals. An ephemeral is a plant with a short life-cycle. The spring ephemerals are plants with a short life cycle that also show up in spring. Spring ephemerals in Northern New England are often located in deciduous forest. The strategy of these plants is to quickly flower and produce seeds before the leaves of the hardwood trees come out and block a lot of the sunlight from reaching the forest floor. Some notable spring ephemerals are the Dutchmen’s Breeches and the Trillium. I was able to locate both of these flowers over the weekend.
The Red Trillium, pictured bellow, is also called Stinking Benjamin, Wet Dog Trillium, or Wet Dog Wakerobin. The Red Trillium grows in moist, humus-rich soils. It is said that the unfolding leaves are edible if you boil them. However, the roots and berries are toxic. The Red Trillium also had early medicinal uses as a treatment for gangrene.
Moving forward I am going to make some changes to My Nature Connection Journal. Specifically, I am going to add a “Family” column to the table. I am finding that the family taxonomy is much more helpful in connecting species and identifying common characteristics. Omitting this identifier in the first draft of this table was a bit of an oversight.
Future additions to this Journal will be a linked glossary page that will contain words and terms related to a nature connection journey.
I hope everyone gets a moment to go out and connect with nature. Be well and feel free to share any of your own nature connection experiences.
Trilliums are our provincial flower here in Ontario, Canada. The White Trillium (aka Wake Robin or Large Leaf Trillium). When the forest floor is carpeted with them in the Spring, it is purely magical!
I bet that is an amazing sight. I feel like the White Trilliums are rare around here. I’ll keep an eye out for them and let you know if I find one. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Mark. Really enjoying your nature observation posts!
Mark, I’m always impressed by people who can use the words “easily distinguished” when it comes to sparrows. I’ve tried a few times, but those birds always leave me a bit baffled. The trillium have come and almost gone here in Alabama, but they were beautiful while they lasted. This year I learned that they (ours, anyway) smell a lot like a banana. Pretty cool.
Hi Tim. Thanks for visiting. I totally agree about most of the little brown birds. But for some reason the White throated sparrows remind me of old time football players with the leather strap helmets. Then the yellow patch just stands out! Thanks again for the comment. Be well.