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Archive for September, 2011

Common in the Boston Mountains. Fairly easy to find in the spring and fall when migrating and breeding.

  • Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long. Females stay lower, skulking through vegetation for food and quietly weaving together their remarkable nests. In winter Red-winged Blackbirds gather in huge flocks to eat grains with other blackbird species and starlings.
  • Look for Red-winged Blackbirds in fresh and saltwater marshes, along watercourses, water hazards on golf courses, and wet roadsides, as well as drier meadows and old fields. In winter, you can find them at crop fields, feedlots, and pastures.

    Male red-winged blackbird

    Male red-winged blackbird

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A beautiful adult red tail hawk hiding in a large cedar tree on Murray Road. This is probably the most common hawk in North America. If you’ve got sharp eyes you’ll see several individuals on almost any long car ride, anywhere. Red-tailed Hawks soar above open fields, slowly turning circles on their broad, rounded wings. Other times you’ll see them atop telephone poles, eyes fixed on the ground to catch the movements of a vole or a rabbit, or simply waiting out cold weather before climbing a thermal updraft into the sky.

Red tail Hawk near Murray Road

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Arkansas has lots of these trees. The are turning bright red now; the third week of September. They are commonly the first tree to show a scarlet color; even prior to sumacs and the deeper red dogwood trees.

Nyssa sylvatica grows to 20–25 metres (66–82 ft) tall, rarely to 35 metres (115 ft), with a trunk diameter of 50–100 centimetres (20–39 in), rarely up to 170 centimetres (67 in). These trees typically have a straight trunk with the branches extending outward at right angles.[1] The bark is dark gray and flaky when young, but it becomes furrowed with age, resembling alligator hide on very old stems. The twigs of this tree are reddish-brown, usually hidden by a greyish skin. The pith is chambered with greenish partitions.

The leaves of this species are variable in size and shape. They can be oval, elliptical, or obovate, and 5–12 cm (2–5 in) long. They have lustrous upper surfaces, with entire, often wavy margins. The foliage turns purple in autumn, eventually becoming an intense bright scarlet.

The flowers are very small, in greenish-white in clusters at the top of a long stalk. The fruit is a black-blue, ovoid stone fruit, about 10 mm long with a thin, oily, bitter-to-sour tasting flesh. There are from one to three such fruit together on a long slender stalk.

 

Black gum in full fall color

 

Black gum in the spring of the year

 

Black gum closeup in autumn (late summer too)

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The Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele) is a butterfly of theNymphalidae family. It reaches 2 1/8 to 3″ in wingspan. It is characterized by its orange color above with five black dashes near fore wing base and several iregualer black dashes at the base of the hind wing. In addition, two rows of black crescents run along the edges of the wings. Below, the fore wing is yellowish-orange with black marks similar to the upperside, with a few silver spots on the tip of the wing. The hind wing is reddish-brown with silver spots on the base and middle of the wing. A broad yellow band and silver triangles are the most notable qualities on the wing, next to the brown margin. Females tend to be darker than males and individuals from the western reaches of this species range tend to be brighter orange.Similar species include the Aphrodite Fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite), the Atlantis Fritillary (Speyeria atlantis) and the Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis).It is distinguished from the Aphrodite and Atlantis Fritillaries by a wide light submarginal band on the hindwing and instead of black spots, black dashes form on the margins of the fore wing. This one photographed on CR20 near Henson Creek in Newton County, Arkansas.

Spangled Fritillary Butterfly

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picture taken with a rain squall rolling in from the west.

rain squall rolling in on Shiloh mountain

 

 

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Picture from Moss Mountain.

Storms rolling into the Boston Mountains

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Here in the Boston Mountains we have and abundance of these warblers. They can be seen by the streams and creeks and on the benches and even the ridge tops and mountain points. They look like a summer cousin to the White Breasted Nuthatch; even act much like them. They are belligerent towards other birds. They are contrasty in color (easy to spot) and beautiful. I’m glad to see their arrival here in April and they are just now flying through the valleys, with other species of warblers (mixed) heading south through Texas to Mexico and beyond to their wintering grounds. Click to enlarge.

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

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A high altitude photograph unsung and in-fared camera to detect even the smallest bit of light on the ground. Arkansas counties area outlined in white. I pointed an orange arrow at Newton County. Little Rock and Memphis show up brightly to the south and east. Click to enlarge.

In-fared Photograph of northern Arkansas

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Two pictures; one of Reynolds Mountain, the next of the Little Buffalo River  running around the base of the mountain. Reynolds mountain stands at 2300+ msl and the Little Buffalo at this point, is 990 msl. The beautiful Little Buffalo River valley !!

Reynolds Mountain

The Little Buffalo winding around the base

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Dawn near Parthenon, Arkansas …… [EXPLORED] 9/15 top 500/2,300,000 Flickr submits. Thank you beautiful Arkansas !!

red orange dawn near Parthenon

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