Sunday, April 22, 2012

Magic** Hedge, Post 2/2 - April 6, 2012

This is the last set of shot from my inaugural walk through the Hedge this spring.

Honeysuckle (2012 - 021)
 So it actually occurred to me to shoot the Honeysuckle Hedge that was the origin of The Magic Hedge Name.

I'm also just now noticing, I never explained the Magic Hedge.  (Or if I did, I did a horrible job labeling the post.)
 So Honeysuckle is an invasive species in Illinois.  I spent several hours on a work detail last year hacking a bunch of it out of a forest preserve.

It's in the Montrose Point Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary as a leftover from the days when Montrose Point housed an army base.  There were barracks where the actual hedge is now.  And to keep some measure of privacy for those who lived on the first floor, they planted the honeysuckle bushes.  When the army pulled out, they leveled the buildings, but left the honeysuckle.  Pretty soon, people started noticing that a lot of migratory birds were hanging out in this old, abandoned army location and it was reconditioned as a nature preserve.  So the actual hedge is still there, but it's the only real remainder of the old missile launching site.  So even though the honeysuckle really doesn't *belong* there, I suspect no one will pull it out due to it's connection with the site's history.

Common Blue Violet (2012 - 022)
So this is newly-blogged flower.  The Common Blue Violet.  It just so happens to be our Illinois State Flower.  So it's probably about time I got around to shooting it. :)
Cabbage White Butterfly (2012 - 023)

And my first butterfly of the season.  A little Cabbage White on a Dandilion.
This is the kind of shot that reminds me why it's worth it to drag my tripod through the woods when it's at all feasible.

These appear to be Ranunculus bulbosus or St. Anthony's Turnip or bulbous buttercup.  Normally they bloom from April until June, which means that being out and this large on April 6th is odd, but given a March that had temperatures frequently in the 80's we're finding that most of nature is about 3 to 5 weeks ahead of schedule.  These are an introduced species, but they seem to be doing quite well here in Chicago, hanging out with the other invasive from this post - the honeysuckle.  (Now all I need is a European Starling with them and I'd have an invasive species hat trick!)

Up next, a new locale and a truly ridiculous number of butterflies!

Total Identified Species Sited for the Year: 24
Total Unidentified Species Sited for the Year: 1
Total New Species: 11

Common Blue Violet*
Cabbage White Butterfly
St. Anthony's Turnip (Buttercup)*

* - New Species
** If you notice every once in a while I typo and type "Magick Hedge" with a k.  It's not that I don't know how to spell the word, it's that I had a ferret who was Magick-with-a-k for years and I wrote about her way more than I ever did prestidigitation, so my fingers got in the habit of adding the K.  Sorry for the ones I don't catch. :)

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