Bird of the Day: Baltimore Oriole on the other side of the window

baltimore oriole at hummingbird feeder

Baltimore orioles have been visiting our hummingbird feeder and splashing the sugar-water everywhere. I don’t mind. They’re fun to watch and don’t seem to scare off the hummingbirds—at least not often. Here’s one of the orioles, as seen through my kitchen window in the early evening. You can see the ceiling light’s reflection against the glass, just above the oriole’s head. … Read more

Plant of the day: Species tulip

red species tulip

Species tulips are different from the regular, large-blooming garden tulips cultivated over centuries by the Dutch and others. They’re called species tulips because each variety is, in fact, a separate species that also grows in the wild in their native habitats of Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. They’ve had minimal to no breeding to differentiate them from their wild ancestors.

Plant of the Day: Jacob’s Ladder

purple bell-shaped flowers

There are at least two species of Jacob’s ladder: Polemonium reptans and Polemonium caeruleum. The first is native to the northeastern United States, while the latter is from Eurasia and should be limited to gardens in North America. I’m not great at telling the difference, but since this specimen is part of a native plant restoration at a local park, I’ll guess it’s Polemonium reptans.

More spring ephemeral microphotography

I found some photos I forgot to post on Saturday. Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) aren’t actually from Siberia, but to the southwest of it in Russia, the Caucuses, and Turkey. I wonder what kind of squill we’d have today if the Dutch had gone wild for squill in the sixteenth century instead of tulips. Virgina bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are from Virginia—along with … Read more