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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Aug 10, 2012

Within a field of oats

A Field of Oats

A recent visit to the edge of the south side of the city, took me through a field of oats, got me muddy to the ankle, soaked to the waist, and attacked by innumerable insects of the biting persuasion. Yet I went home happy as a clam, because it was all worth it from my point of view.  I discovered that a field such as this, hides much more of nature than it shows, if you will just venture to explore.

There are small pot-hole sized ponds throughout this field for instance. These are surrounded in turn by bushes and small trees, which shelter many song birds with a preference for low bush and/or marshy areas for habitat, such as Meadowlarks and Clay-colored sparrows. 

A prairie pot-hole
Shore-bird foraging for food

These small bodies of water also attract Ducks, Geese, Sora and Herons.  You can hear frogs singing way before you reach the pot-hole they have chosen for their home.  During migration many other species of birds make use of these pot-hole ponds to rest and refresh. Like the as yet unidentified shore bird in this photo just above.

Cherry-faced dragonfly
Butterfly skimming the top of the field

Blue Damselfly
A variety of Butterflies, Dragonflies, Damselflies and crickets also inhabit this field of oats.

Track of a mammal next to my footprint

There were tracks everywhere, most likely fox or coyote, and Deer tracks as well.  The pot-holes shrink and expand, depending on the amount of rainfall.  The wildlife which is most dependent on water will shift, if needed, to another pot-hole with more water.  The frogs did so earlier this year, when there was little rain, and I noticed that the tracks follow where the biggest concentration of wildlife is within the field.  Recent rains have, in turn created pot-holes where there were none before.

Pink wildflower
Yellow wildflower

In between the rows of neatly planted oats, I discovered these two jewels.    

But that is not all to discover.  The most visible creature to be seen, soared above the field. 
Swainson's Hawk
Swainson's Hawk Soars

A predator and a beauty, the Swainson's Hawk, who never fails to make a showing when I visit here.  I have also seen Red-Tailed Hawks, Northern Harrier's and Merlins here.  Every time I visit, I discover something new and I always wonder what I will see next.   I can't wait to go back.


1 comment:

  1. I can see why you can't wait to go back Susan, what an abundance of wildlife you found!