Thursday, April 12, 2012

Charleston Falls, April 12, 2012

The county parks education staff have nature names. This is Sassafras Susan. I saw her as I started off down the trail. She told me she was looking at Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) flowers. I had never seen its flowers so she showed them to me. She said most of them were past their showiest stage.
Since I had Tom's camera because I wanted to get a picture of the young owl, I was able to get a fairly good picture of a fresh enough flower when I took Susan's picture. I am not good at using Tom's camera so the picture is fuzzy.  I hope to go out again tomorrow.  Maybe I will do better.  At least you can see that the flower definitely looks like a flower with petals and stamen. 
She told me the park maintenance crew had to cut down a big Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) so I could see its flowers if I looked for them. And sure enough, I found them. Quite a few trees seem to have this type of flower, not very showy.
I found some young leaves also.
When I saw the stump, I understood why the tree had been cut down.
Just before I reached the falls, I came to the the Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra). A couple weeks ago I took this photo of its flower.
Last week, when I took this photo, the flower was opened wider.
I continued on...past the falls,...over the bridge that spans the creek,...along Redbud Valley trail on the ridge behind the falls until I arrived at the owlet viewing site. The owlet is a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). It is getting feathers now and, if you look carefully, you can see two small lumps on its head. I expect that those are caused by the feathery tufts that will soon pop through the down. Here is a side view...
And here he is looking at me looking at him.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting the picture of the baby owl. Went the other day to take my own photo and the owl was gone, maybe for good.