Hello to all my young scientist friends, and welcome to another issue of Naturalist's Notebook. Have you ever wondered how you can find nature on a rainy day?
When I got up this morning everything outside was wet from heavy overnight showers. No rain was falling at the moment, so I decided to take my cell phone out to try to get some photos before the rains started again. Sometimes the absence of bright sunlight makes for better pictures.
I began a tour around the yard, and like usual, I found things to photograph. The first bloom on an orange daylily seemed a beautiful way to start. I think you'll agree it looked pretty spectacular.
Nearby I spied a red and blue striped leafhopper, an insect so small most people would miss it. However, when I enlarged the photo, the tiny leafhopper was just as gorgeous as the daylily bloom. What do you think?
Crawling up a leaf on my butterfly weed was an immature red and black colored Milkweed Bug. They are very strange looking when young and sport warning colors which protect them from being eaten. They have a sharp beak called a proboscis that they stick in a milkweed stem to suck juices from it. Milkweed contains poisonous substances that make them taste bad.
Right across the sidewalk in another flower bed, the purple blooms of a woodland wildflower called Spiderwort caught my attention. One or two blooms open each morning and close by the evening. The next day, new blooms will open again. Many small bees and flies visit them. If you look closely, you can see the stamens that hold the pollen sticking out from the middle of the flower, ready for an insect pollinator to stop by for a drink of nectar.
From there it was a short walk to the carport wren nest. When I snapped a photo, mama wren was sitting on the nest and her photo turned out great.
By then it had begun sprinkling, so I came back inside. Our bird feeders are right outside the kitchen windows, and I noticed that two of our many visitors had fur, not feathers. Two squirrels and two chipmunks were also having breakfast at the Haley house. I've included a photo of one of each. Hint: the chipmunk is the one that is small and brown with stripes. The gray squirrel is the one with a big bushy tail.
It's raining again. That gives me time to write about the discoveries I made in 45 minutes this morning.
Nothing to see on a rainy day? Look around, look carefully, and you might be surprised. Have fun journaling!