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.
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?
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.
Mom Gallinule stepped out of the nest to take a stretch break.
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.
The Yellow-headed Blackbird is said to have one of the worst bird calls. If you want a good laugh, you can listen to it here. The bright yellow color attracts attention. This is a juvenile male Yellow-headed Blackbird. The coloring of the head is somewhat brown and he has a white patch by the wing. Females do not have the white wing patch.
The Least Bittern, on the other hand, is very secretive. She stays hidden among the cattails and her call is very quiet. This is a female Least Bittern. She has beautiful warm brown coloring with a dark patch on her head, back, and around her wings. Least Bitterns can straddle cattails, which allows them to feed in water that would be too deep to wade in.