Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Don's Blog Junco on the day of Winter Solstice

Today is the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year. Each day after today will be about 5 minutes longer. 
I am already reveling in the thought of the new found light.

This dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) is enjoying the solstice.

Juncos are in the sparrow family.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Don's Blog nWoodpecker erratum 12-20-16

Several folks have correctly pointed out that the woodpecker I pictured was a red-bellied woodpecker
rather than a red-headed woodpecker. The red-bellied woodpecker (pictured) has a small spot of red on the back of his head and a checkered back. The red-headed woodpecker has a red hood around his head and a black back. Both are medium sized and are the ultimate bullies of the neighborhood. It goes to show you that the Flower Guy may know something about flowers but is sometimes wanting in the domain of birds.

Don's Blog Bullies 12-20-16

Blue jays (Cyanocitta christata) are the bullies of my neighborhood. They are larger than the songbirds
which scatter when the blue jays light on the perch.

On the other hand this young blue jay as no match for this red headed woodpecker.  (Melanerpes erythrocephalus). Nobody messes with him, not even the gnome in the tree.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Don's Blog Cardinals 12-19

It has been frigid in the Heartland so we have been feeding the wild birds.Both male and female cardinals (Family Cardinalidae) have been frequent visitors. They are passerine (three forward toes and one backward toe) and are buntings (strong stubby beaks). The female differs markedly in color from the male but both have red beaks. They are 'puffed" out to stay warm with the temperature at single digits.


 The males are always breathtaking.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Charrette Creek II

We discovered Charrette Creek Road very soon after we purchased our Innsbrook chalet. Here
are the three boys going off a large boulder into the crystal clear water. Chris has on his water wings.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Don's Blog Charrette Creek 12-4-16

Jan and I re-explored Charette Creek yesterday. We are fortunate to have this natural stream just minutes from the western gate (Linden) of the Village of Innsbrook (established in 1998) which encompasses our Innsbrook Resort. Charrette Creek is a tributary of the Missouri River. The creek includes  the North Fork of Charrette  Creek and a fork arising below the spillway of Lake Aspen. Our lake house is on Lake Aspen which is included in the valley above the creeks origin. The North Fork arises north and west of Reifschneider State Forest. We have been exploring this area for over 38 years. Turning south on Schutzengrund Road we drive on a gravel road which goes down to the Missouri River valley and becomes Charrette Creek Road. The road  is magical and on this grey cloudy December day with the leaves off the trees we can see the stark beauty of the creek and its surroundings.

As the creek meanders south to the Missouri it crosses over five low water bridges. As the water rises and falls with the rain it has not been uncommon for us to be stopped by high water but with luck and common sense so far we have not been stranded.

For years we have loved the  incredible beauty of this area. We have waded and gone swimming and
enjoyed picnics. It can be a little dicey since it is not public property and we have not ever found anyone to ask for permission. We have been lucky so far.

Our favorite place is a natural swimming hole with high limestone bluffs.

The water is crystal clear.

The creek flows south and enters the Missouri River just west of the Washington Bridge.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Final Flower for the Day Delphinium 12-2-16

Its time for this years Flower for the Day to wind down. This exquisite delphinium was my 
favorite wild flower for the year. I hope you have enjoyed this years posts.
The Flower Guy