Diet and Exercise at the Horicon Marsh

Day Lily at the Horicon Marsh

Day Lily at the Horicon Marsh

A drift of orange caught my eye as I drove along Highway 49.  Many of you may enjoy having Day Lilies in your garden.  Wild Day Lilies are a hybrid that reproduce from the roots.  The colorful blossom lasts only a day.  If you are out hiking and need a snack, every part of this plant is edible.  According to the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers: Eastern Region, the flower buds taste like green beans when cooked.  Serve with butter.  I will take their word for it.

Monarch Butterfly at the Horicon Marsh

Monarch Butterfly on Day Lily Bud

This Monarch butterfly will pass on the green bean taste and go right for the nectar of the flower.  The Monarch caterpillar eats only Milkweed.  This butterfly is so popular it is the state butterfly of three states.  Can you name them?  The people of Kentucky chose the similarly colored Viceroy butterfly as their state butterfly.  The Viceroy butterfly has a black line that crosses the veins on the hind wing.  The Viceroy caterpillar feeds on trees in the willow family.  Do you know Wisconsin’s state butterfly?

Common Gallinule at the Horicon Marsh

Adult and Juvenile Common Gallinule

This Common Gallinule (formerly Common Moorhen) was resting in her nest and attentively watching her two growing chicks as they ate vegetation from the surface of the water.  The chicks did not stray farther than ten feet.  They were far enough to gain a bit of independence, but never out of her sight.

Adult Common Gallinule at the Horicon Marsh

Adult Common Gallinule

Mom Gallinule stepped out of the nest to take a stretch break.

Yellow-headed Blackbird at the Horicon Marsh

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Speaking of stretching, I’m not sure what this neck exercise does for birds, but it is a good one for humans.  Neck retraction is an effective exercise for posture, neck pain, and disk related pain.  Repeat five times every two hours.  If it produces pain, then discontinue the exercise.  Visit a physical therapist for further help.

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