Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Guest List

The character of a place is, to a great degree, revealed in the guests that visit, for long or short stays. I hope to keep a record of all the plants and animals that, like me, are guests of this 8 acres. Some, like the twin maples on the north property line, have been here over one hundred years. They are likely descendants of the sugar maples that once populated a dense forest blanketing many millions of acres for many thousands of years. Others, such as the red-tailed hawk that perched in the twin maples for a few minutes two weeks ago, stay only a short time.   

Winter is perhaps the best time to start such a daunting project. Many species are still asleep under a blanket of snow, or vacationing in Florida, or Mexico, or even South America. I'll list only those I know, and my poor natural history skills will be revealed to all. Perhaps this will be incentive to finally learn my bird calls, or tracks in the snow, or scientific names. In future blog posts, I will add species with a corresponding number, at the end of the post, thusly:

1. Sugar Maple
2. Black Walnut
3. White Pine
4. Red Cedar
5. Box Elder
6. Mulberry
7. Autumn Olive
8. Yew
9. Poison Ivy
10. Wild Raspberry
11. Wild Grape

12. Foxtail
13. Smooth Brome
14. Quack Grass
15. Reed Canary Grass

16. Spotted Knapweed
17. Pokeweed
18. Queen Anne's Lace

19. Broadleaf Plantain

20. Chicory
21. Burdock
22. Tall Goldenrod
23. Bull Thistle
24. Sow Thistle
25. Common Milkweed
26. Clematis
27. Russian Sage
28. Iris
29. Pigweed

1. Rock Doves (i.e. common pigeons) - resident
2. English house sparrows - resident
3. Woodpecker
4. Red-tailed Hawk
5. Bats
6. White-tailed Deer - tracks
7. Dog - tracks
8. Cat - tracks
9. Fox Squirrels
10. Raccoon
11. Human
12. Snowshoe hare - tracks
13. Crows
14. Mouse
15. Box Elder Bugs
16. House Flies
17. Long-legged Spider
18. Asian Lady Bugs
19. Small black spider
20. Mosquito


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