Here’s a new species of snake for Pearl Creek Farm, Western Wormsnake (Carphophis vermis). These two individuals were found under a cover board we placed a couple of years ago.
It’s been several months, but we saw the mink again today.
This is a poor photo, but it shows something Julian and I saw a couple of weeks ago. Four large gobblers wandered through the creek bottoms directly across from our house. We were sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. What a great treat!
After digging through notes, field notebooks, field guides, and the furthest recesses of our memories, we’ve compiled a vascular plant species list for Pearl Creek Farm. So far, we have 221 species listed, which is not bad for 10 acres. I’ve marked several with codes indicating their native status and whether or not we “imported” them as part of one of our restorations. As you can see, we have some identification work to do on some of the plants here.
With the help of John Atwood at the Missouri Botanical Garden, I’ve also compiled a list of 16 bryophytes for the farm.
It’s been an interesting year at Pearl Creek Farm. Plus, we also observed some new species to add to the list.
The most exciting find for me was an Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata) right at the edge of our prairie. Still, it was totally expected. In fact, it was amazing it took so long. We’d been finding them on the road within sight of our house almost since we moved in. Wait until we find our first Bullsnake!
I hope June finds you knee-deep in native plants! Our prairie has gone from spring beauties and violets all the way through coneflowers, horsemint, and at least two types of milkweed. I can see ashy sunflower, blazing star, and various species of Silphium ready to round out the summer. Tufts of native grass are thicker than ever. The pond has yellow spatterdock, white waterlily, arrowhead (Sagittaria), and lizard’s tail all blooming right now. There will no doubt be more as the season progresses.
My first guess is song sparrow, but white-throated sparrows are very common here and I wonder if it is a juvenile or female. Anyone?
Also, I saw a kinglet-sized bird yesterday that appeared to have very bold black and white stripes on its head. I could find nothing that looked like it. It’s possible it was a sparrow, too, but it was very small. Any ideas?
Okay, really Northern Bobwhite, but nobody shouts that when you flush a covey from less than ten yards. Although we occasionally hear them calling from some distance, we see them on our place only rarely. On January 1, 2014, we flushed a covey on top of the hill (I4). I hope they like what we’ve done with the place and stick around for a while.