January 09, 2020

Finally posting Panama photos

This year in July I spent a little over a week in Panama, mostly in the Darién, but also a day at the Pipeline Road. I have been too busy to post photos, until the past few days. Most of the photos went up with little identification, other than site and minimal id.

Now I have to get caught up on the rest of this year, and put up photos from our grand western trip in 2018. Thirteen states and 13,000 shots. Picking the best and identifiable will be time consuming - but heck, I'm retired.

My next project will be scanning select slides from the 1970s, 80s 90s and early 2000s. Talk about another task.

All of this while still traveling and searching for interesting organisms.

Thanks for taking the time to look, help with id's and all of the fellowship.

Michael

Posted on January 09, 2020 14:47 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 10, 2018

Packing in southern Michigan plants before traveling

The Michigan botany project is such fun. Susan and I spent a great day at Nan Weston Preserve in western Washtenaw County today. I've got to get my southern species in tomorrow and next Tuesday. I'm heading off to camp at Pt. Pelee in Ontario for four (possibly rainy) days. There should be enough birds and plants to keep me busy. None, of course relating to Michigan. But I will get to visit a beautiful old red mulberry and numerous dwarf hackberry, among many other special plants from Corydalis to Opuntia and more.

On the 30th of May Susan and I will be starting our grand western excursion. We will probably be on the road for a good month and a half. I will hopefully be posting photos along the way as most of our stops have Internet. We are anticipating being baffled by numerous western and Rocky Mountain plants and insects. We'll be find with the birds.

Our traveling library is being assembled - so we should at least have a fighting chance with plants. I am looking forward to southwestern lichens and will be hauling Bordo et al., the master tome on North American lichens.

Since most of our stops are Airbnbs I am hoping to get some black lighting in. Yes, I am ready for the frustration of western moths and anticipate spending a lot of time on the Moth Photographers website.

All of our stops are planned on interesting nature sites, so we will miss the popular tourist destinations.

So, everybody keep up the great botanical finds and I will return with a vengance to try and catch up with all of you.

More as the adventure progresses.

Michael

Posted on May 10, 2018 01:11 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 17, 2018

Missing being away from Michigan

For ten day we will have our annual foray into the deep south. This time we will be spending seven nights ta Bald Point Florida on the Central Panhandle of the Gulf Coast. Hope to post loads of photos since I have a black light and microscopes (regular and dissecting). Already photographing lichens and mosses on the way down - oh those frustrating little buggers.

Having arrived at Bald Point this evening, the real adventure begins tomorrow. Wow, was the box of reference books heavy.

Best of luck to all of my Michigan botanizing friends.

More to come,
Michael

Posted on February 17, 2018 02:46 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 08, 2018

Heading north to do some bird banding

Hi All:
Susan and I are about to head to Whitefish Point for three days, Susan will be netting and banding crossbills (we hope) and I will be netting and banding redpolls. We have been getting 75-100 redpolls at our feeders and I believe there are both subspecies of Common Redpoll and also Hoary Redpolls. I'll be measuring wing length, weighing and photographing the birds. Planned photos are rump, total back, under-tail coverts and full frontal. The plumage differences of what's coming to the feeders is pretty astounding.

Two weeks ago redpolls were not on the license that covers me, so we had to release 20-30 birds. That was really frustrating. Looking forward to pulling more of those little beauties from the nets. Then comes the real work.

Also planning on photographing trees for the Michigan Botanists' Big Year. Which is just a fun project.

That's about all. Photos to come pretty soon.

Michael

Posted on February 08, 2018 02:12 by makielb makielb | 4 comments | Leave a comment

August 22, 2017

Chippewa County, Michigan Bog visit

Hi All:

Susan and I spent parts of the past two days visiting a black spruce/tamarack bog on Farm Truck Road, west of Paradise in Chippewa County, Michigan.

The plants are now dominated by goldenrods along the road and into the sedges, then cotton grasses in the bogs and fens.

The highlights were dominated by flies coming to the goldenrods. A fly-lover would have been in 'Paradise' (sorry for the pun, that's the closest town just east of here). Flower and bee flies dominated. For me the fly highlight was Hunch-backed bee fly (Lepidophora lutea) - I have never seen so many. I am working through the many bee and flower flies.

A delightful highlight, as always was a Least chipmunk. I love those little guys.

Butterflies were less that I would have liked, but it's always nice seeing a Green comma.

Now back to identifying flies and goldenrods (yeah, I do not care for id'ing them, but the dominate the floral landscape at the moment.) BTW, aster are just getting going.

Michael

Posted on August 22, 2017 14:21 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 12, 2017

Crossbills

I finally took some time and put up sonograms of three types of Red Crossbills that Susan has recorded and I photographed here at Whitefish Point. The type-10s are the ones that are breeding here. Type-3s are the "typical" migrants that we have been seeing and hearing the past few years. The type-2 is new for us at the cabin.

Interestingly, crossbills are building in numbers already - and in mixed flocks. Types 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 10 have been around.

We will be participating in a study of these interesting birds where they will be banded, bills measured, blood collected (for DNA analysis) and flight calls recorded. Phew, that's a lot to do.

Stay tuned - I'll update as the work proceeds. Hopefully, we will be doing this through the Fall, Winter and into the Spring.

The cone crops in the west are minimal, while the cone crops in the east are huge. This "should" make for a mass movement of crossbills, so keep your eyes open and ears tuned.

Posted on August 12, 2017 17:21 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 10, 2017

Florida in February

We now make an annual trip to Florida in February. This year I had targets in mind and an anticipated visit to a site I had not been to in some 30+ years. Everything went as planned.

The main target was Torreya taxifolia, the endangered Florida Torreya. Which we were able to easily find at Torreya State Park. The wild trees are all pretty much fenced off and easily located. This tree has a very limited range along the Appalachicola River and tributaries. There are apparently less than 500 trees left in the wild, all in some state of poor health.

Then we were hoping to find an array of four wakerobins (Trillium decipens, Trilium lanceolatum, Trillium maculatum and Trillium underwoodii) all of which I believe we found. They are a difficult group. We spent a lot of time on our knees and bellies measuring leaves, stems, bracts and petals as well as photographing. It was an amazing day of botany at Florida Caverns State Park.

Finally, for the relaxing portion of our Florida Panhandle trip I had rented cabin at T. H. Stone Memorial State Park. What a treat. We spent several days walking trails, wading in the bay and snorkeling. The highlight was finding a glass lizard on our own 'private' boardwalk to the bay.

On our way to our cabin on the beach we were made aware of the Sumatra area. Here there are extensive fen, fen-like areas filled with carnivorous plants - pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts and butterworts. A botanical dream.

So, I've managed to post an overabundance of photos of wakerobins and some of the other highlights from this February escape from the Michigan winter.

Mike

Posted on August 10, 2017 15:41 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Getting caught up with sightings

Hi all:

I'm finally having some time to get caught up on all of the wonderful field trip and moth photos that I have accumulated over the past ten months - yeah it's been a while. So, I am batches of photos by the day. Some with have minimal identifications, others more detailed.

This year school and a new grandson have kept us busy. And somehow I have fallen behind. When simple things go up with minimal id, it's just a lack of time for identification (my photos and journal entries are separate). Please be tolerant of my massive photo dump.

On another note I have been working on trying to get a more complete moth list for the cabin (at Whitefish Point) with some repeat species across the season. This allows me to have a greater understanding of flight-season for the diverse moth-fauna.

Thanks for listening, and always feel free to comment on anything.

Mike

Posted on August 10, 2017 14:33 by makielb makielb | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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