The apartment building I'm living in here in Lisle is located in a three hundred acre development the includes four lakes and enough undeveloped space that it attracts quite a bit of wildlife. Since the weather was fairly nice Sunday afternoon, I grabbed the camera and headed out to explore my surroundings. There were lots of birds, some of which refused to pose for a photo, while others were more obliging. Among those that were camera shy was a Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, who despite my bet efforts kept going around the tree whenever I tried to move into position for a photo. I also saw a couple of chipmunks, but again, no photos. Squirrels and robins were plentiful, as were mallards and Canada Geese. I did manage to get photos of Common Grackles, a Red-winged Blackbird, a Double-crested Cormorant, a pair of Mallards, a Mourning Dove and a Great Blue Heron, but the grackles were the only birds that were new to me, as they are not found in Arizona.
|Common Grackle, Quiscalus quiscula|
|Great Blue Heron|
|A pair of Mallards|
Fauna wasn't the only thing that caught my attention, there was also a bit of flora, even though it hasn't been very warm here yet. The first crocuses were in bloom, the crab apple trees are still full of last year's fruit and I found a tree with several Artist's Conk mushrooms on it. Some of the trees are starting to show signs of budding and it shouldn't be too long before the landscape is full of the greens of Spring.
|The first crocus of Spring|
|Last year's crab apples still fill the trees.|
|Artist's Conk mushrooms, Ganoderma applanatum; they may eventually kill this tree.|
|Leaf buds about to open.|
Old habits die hard and I've started to root some celery ends and some lemon grass (I finally found Korean Market nearby). The seeds I sowed haven't sprouted yet, but the forecast is for highs in the 50's and 60's later this week, so maybe they'll come up soon.
|One of the celery is 2 weeks old, the other about 2 days.|
I've added another thirteen stapeliads to my collection, and as usual, the plants from Miles2Go are really nice looking and well sized. I wish I'd noticed the slip of paper in my mailbox sooner, as the box sat in the management office holding area for three days. When I got into the apartment, I opened the package like a kid at Christmas, even though I knew what was in the box. I bought Baynesia lophophora, Caralluma foetida, Caralluma schweinfurthii, Duvalia angustiloba, Duvalia sulcata ssp. seminuda, Echidnopsis cereiformis, Huernia macrocarpa ssp. concinna, Huernia keniensis, Huernia oculata, Orbea chrysostephana, Orbea wissmannii, Rhtidocaulon macrolobum ssp macrolobum and Stapelianthus madagascariensis.
|Baynesia lophophora from Namibia|
|Caralluma foetida from Uganda|
|Caralluma schweinfurthii from Zimbabwe|
|Duvalia angustiloba from Karoo National Park, South Africa|
|Duvalia sulcata ssp. seminuda from Saudi Arabia|
|Echidnopsis cereiformis from Eritrea|
|Huernia macrocarpa ssp. concinna from Somalia|
|Huernia keniensis from Lake Naivasha, Kenya|
|Huernia oculata from Africa|
|Orbea wissmannii ssp eremastrum|
|Rhtidocaulon macrolobum ssp macrolobum from Saudi Arabia|
|Stapelianthus madagascariensis from Madagascar|