A Spate and a Spadix

Let’s take an Easter break from antelopes. I am in Maine for a few days. The thaw is happening, and the streams are in spate. This is a usually dry woodland area below my red barn; the de-barked tree is beaver work.

P1040138

My bridge may not be there in the morning:

P1040139

The Beaked Hazelnut, Corylus cornuta, is flowering, with its golden male catkins and tiny red female flowers:

P1040119

The Maine State bird, the Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus, is here, a member of the tit family.

Chickadee

A female downy woodpecker was busy:

Female Downy Woodpecker

And I saw my first ever Brown Creeper, Certhia americana, a relative of the UK’s Treecreeper. They are not rare, but they are very shy, and well-camouflaged. It moved much like a nuthatch, but working its way up the tree, instead of head down like a nuthatch. Notice the lovely curved beak.

Brown Creeper

Finally, I mentioned skunk cabbage a week or two ago, but now in Massachusetts it is in flower.  Symplocarpus foetidus is a member of the Arum family.  It comes up so early in spring that the heat of its cellular respiration melts the snow or ice around it,

Skunk Cabbage

It has a strong odor, especially if bruised, like decaying meat, and this draws insects to pollinate the tiny flowers on the knobby spadix. Later, a roll of large green leaves unfurls.

 

One thought on “A Spate and a Spadix”

  1. Love this one. Especially the Downy Woodpecker!

    On Sun, Apr 21, 2019 at 4:09 PM Eyes on the Wild wrote:

    > myip2014 posted: “Let’s take an Easter break from antelopes. I am in Maine > for a few days. The thaw is happening, and the streams are in spate. This > is a usually dry woodland area below my red barn; the de-barked tree is > beaver work. My bridge may not be there in the mo” >

    Like

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