Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

3/20/10

Hello Spring, I Love you!

A buttercup amongst the violas

It's officially the first day of spring, the vernal equinox, yay!!! I've been in Reno all week. The sun has been shining, the earth has been sprouting and the birds have been singing. I love it. The wildflowers have slowly started showing themselves. I saw my third wildflower of the season the other day, a sweet little buttercup (Ranunculus, spp). However, I saw more than one buttercup, I saw hundreds.

I have also been seeing a bunch of Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus) lately. Flickers are a large woodpecker that have a lovely brown and black coloring. I love seeing these birds and the little splash of color that comes with them. You see, even though their bodies are brown and black the shaft or rachis of their flight-feathers is bright orange/red in the west and bright yellow in the east, so when they beat their wings you get a beautiful gift of color. Also, they have a white rump patch, which is easy to spot when the bird is in flight.

An interesting fact about the Northern flicker is that even though they are a type of woodpecker they typically hunt for their food on the ground, ants being one of their main food sources.

Northern Flicker, picture from Wikimedia Commons

A bunch of buttercups