Douglas County, Missouri

Springtime, 2021

It feels like it has been a long time since I had the time (or the content) to sit down and put together a diary. I just checked back and it has almost been a month since my last Bucket on April 12th.

It isn’t that nothing is happening here, rather too much is happening and it is interfering with my daily walks. No walks — no photos! No photos — no diaries…

The Daily Bucket is a nature refuge. We amicably discuss animals, weather, climate, soil, plants, waters and note life’s patterns.

We invite you to note what you are seeing around you in your own part of the world, and to share your observations in the comments below.

Well, it is more like shorter walks and fewer photos. There have been too many days this past month when we received a lot of rain, making walks undesirable. As a result, there have not been many days this past month when I had enough interesting encounters with nature to give me a Bucketful of photos. I have actually shared some of those photos in comments recently.

For example, there was this chipping sparrow among the redbud blossoms:

Chipping Sparrow — April 13, 2021

There were several wildflower photos, butterfly photos, photos of morel mushrooms — plus this black morel! One of about a dozen we found less than a hundred yards from our door:

Black Morel — April 14th

This Swainson’s Thrush on April 30th:

Swainson’s Thrush – April 30th

A tiny Cricket Frog, less than an inch in length, also on April 30th:

tiny, tiny, tiny - could hardly get close enough to see what it was!
Northern (or Blanchard’s) Cricket Frog – April 30th

And this lovely little male Ruby-throated hummingbird on May 4th:

Sorry, one photo is never enough when it comes to hummingbirds:

Looking back through these photos I realize I did have one particular day that yielded enough photos for a Bucket. Friday, April 30th was a lovely, sunny day. I could not let it go to waste, so I went for a walk along the trails on our property. There is a clearing not far from our house that has a tree that once a year is covered in a glorious honeysuckle vine that blooms some time in April. It was late this year, but on April 30th it was in full bloom and covered in butterflies. The Tiger Swallowtail photo up at the top shows one of those butterflies on one of those blooms, but there were so many! I just pointed my camera and kept shooting. I am fairly certain that all of the swallowtail butterflies on this tree were Tiger Swallowtails, even the black ones:

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on honeysuckle
Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on honeysuckle — April 30th (bigger)

But there were other creatures buzzing around. Looking through the viewfinder, I thought for sure this was a bee, but on my computer screen I could see it was actually a Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis):

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) on honeysuckle
Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) on honeysuckle — April 30th

On second thought, maybe a bucketful of honeysuckle blossoms and butterflies would not provide enough variety. Maybe I would have needed to include more photos from other days. Maybe this slightly distorted photo of a pileated woodpecker taken through my sun-room window on May 4th:

Pileated Woodpecker — May 4th

Or this female grosbeak at my feeder on May 4th:

female Rose-breasted grosbeak or female blue grosbeak? They are both around!
Female Rose-breasted grosbeak or female blue grosbeak? They are both around! — May 4th

And I am not sure whether this youngster is a baby indigo bunting or blue grosbeak. I finally decided it was a bunting in spite of the wing bars, which seemed to have some orange in them:

I am not sure whether this youngster is a baby indigo bunting or blue grosbeak. iNaturalist wasn’t sure either. I’m calling it a bunting in spite of the wing bars, which seemed to have some orange in them.

But speaking of Indigo Buntings, they are definitely around:

Indigo Bunting on power line — April 29th

iNaturalist says this bird is a Kentucky Warbler — also a recent sighting:

Kentucky Warbler — April 29th

Another recent sighting was this female box turtle (brown eyes):

female box turtle (brown eyes) — April 29th

Maybe I finally have a full bucket? Maybe I should add some wildflowers? How about some wild geraniums for Mother’s Day?

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) — April 29th

Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day!


Now It’s Your Turn

What have you noted happening in your area or travels? As usual post your observations as well as their general location in the comments.    

Thank you.

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