Category Archives: Nature Notes

Nature/Wildlife

Flicking Feathers

2008-3 -  April sunrise (27)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

If someone had told me when I was younger that I would actually enjoy being awake before dawn, I would have laughed.  But over the years I have developed the habit of waking up with the sun.   And since we turned the clocks forward in anticipation of the Spring Equinox on March 20th,  I’ve been up  just in time to witness the rising sun as it paints the eastern sky with watercolor shades of pink and yellow; everything looks so new and fresh in the muted light of dawn and life is just beginning to stir in the dark recesses of the woods.

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Winter Colors: The Spirit of Place

2002 - 10 - Noblett Lake - lovely colorBy Sara Firman (Sulis)

In the world of home interiors, natural tones, are often boring neutrals.  Yet the natural world is never boring or neutral.  Even in winter, colors abound.  Continue reading

Striped Scorpion Surprise

Striped Scorpion - © 2013 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

This morning I found this little Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus) in the gravel near our front porch.  Although they might look quite ferocious, these tiny, one and a half inch arachnids are shy and rarely seen.  This one wanted nothing to do with me and wanted nothing more than to hide as I attempted to take it’s photograph.  Even after nudging it into the open several times, it never once tried to sting me. 

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Rain: The Spark of Creation

Rainbow after the storm. © Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Excerpted from my book, A Journey of Seasons:  A Year in the Ozarks High Country.  Available in print and eBook in the Show Me Oz bookstore.

It’s amazing what a little rain can do during a drought.  Before our last bout of rain, the grass was brown and so brittle that it crunched beneath our feet.  But after the rain, the grass and all the native plants in the meadow turned a vibrant green and the once silent meadow suddenly came alive with the songs of happy frogs, crickets and cicadas.  This seemingly incredible transformation is not as uncommon as it might seem. 

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly Larva

Have you seen these caterpillars in your garden?

Black Swallowtail Butterfly LarvaThese are pretty Black Swallowtail butterfly larva  that recently hatched on my dill and fennel, which are both primary food plants for this species. Without these specific plants, the caterpillars will die and no butterflies will be produced.

black swallowtail butterflyTo preserve a colony of black swallowtails in your yard, consider planting a patch of dill or fennel away from the main garden as food for these flying flowers. That way, you can relocate destructive caterpillars found on garden crops to those in the butterfly plot.  If you like butterflies, you might also like to read my article Flying Flowers: The Beauty of Butterflies.

Enjoy!  ShowMeOz.Wordpress.com

Floating an Ozark River

http://www.elevenpointriver.org/By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

This morning Dean and I were having our morning coffee and watching the news, when the weatherman casually mentioned that the temperature today will be dangerously hot with a heat index of around 105° F.  Dean looked across the table at me scratching myself bloody from all the new chigger bites I acquired this week and thoughtfully suggested we hit the river for a cool, bug free day of floating.  I was up and in my bathing suit before the last words came out of his mouth.

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Perceiving Patterns in Nature

Image Copyright 2013 Sara FirmanBy Sara FirmanDiving Deeper

“The failure to perceive order and structure in and unknown city can upset a visitor in the same way that an apparently homogeneous forest can be completely confusing to an unobservant wanderer.” – Landscape: Pattern, Perception and Process by Simon Bell Continue reading

The Birth of Summer

Vulpes_vulpes_pupsBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

June is the traditional, astrological, and physical birth of summer.  In June, you can witness the stately elderberry unfurling its huge white flower umbels to the blue sky, or wander through dense blackberry thickets filled with ripening fruit.  Somewhere in the deep, shady woods the wild turkey hen lays her clutch of eggs in a neatly cloaked bowl of leaves and sticks, female deer give birth to spindly spotted fawns and golden fox kits are born in shallow dens.  June is the month with the longest day and the most violent thunderstorms.  It is that unique combination of warmth, moisture and long sunlit days that stoke the fire of creation.  In June, life rushes to complete yet another circle in the endless journey of seasons.

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