Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back in the saddle

I spent the entire day outside. Birdman and I were doing a plant survey at a giant site down in south Jersey. It's not really my area, so I'm not great at identifying plants down there. The guys had been there at least once before so I had the list of plants they already found. Most of the time I just noticed something "new" or "odd" and we identified the plant together. I added many common species to the list, which birdman kept saying were "gimmies." Well if they were such gimmies, they should have been on the list already! We did see a bunch of other cool things like this praying mantis above. We also found some rare plants like this yellow flowered one below.

Early on in the day, we chased via the car a doe and her fawn. It's not our fault that the fawn kept running along the road with the car. We stopped shortly after that and we were keying out a plant when I saw out of the corner of my eye a fawn running straight towards us. I whispered to birdman but the fawn kept coming towards us. It stared straight at us and made a bleet noise. I talked back to it letting it know that we were not its mommy. It persisted for a minute or two more and then ducked into the woods. Still thinking that we had potential to be mommy, it hung out in the treeline for like 5 minutes more staring at us. Not smart little one! All throughout the day whenever we saw a lone doe, I vocalized the doe's thoughts of "Where is my baby????" I'm sure birdman was totally annoyed after like the fifth doe we saw and I kept saying that.

Here's some caterpillars chowing down on some milkweed.
A small part of the day was radio tracking two rare snakes. They are still underground from the summer heat, but I got to brush up on my radio tracking skills. Y'know I hold the big radio antenna like on those nature shows and head in the direction of the strongest beeps. It's like a grown up game of hot and cold. It's not as fulfilling when the snakes are underground and you don't actually see your target.

The day ended with me finding this baby fence lizard. I managed to catch it and it was a perfect angel for the camera. I found it hard to release back onto the tree since it didn't want to leave my hand.

The big downer of the day was attempting to smush most likely baby deer ticks or chiggers off me at the end of the day. I guess it's all in a days work down in south Jersey.


Hooligan said...

Those are some nice Milkweed Tiger Moths. Did you happen to collect any for someone special?

Lioux said...


It was like you were Nature Mom with the Praying Mantis, Fawn and little baby fence lizard.

suntawrites said...

Hey Nature Mama, (I like that Lioux), we have little lizards all over the place here in Florida. It's fantastic! They are so cute. Sadly, though, the cats are always chasing 'em and trying to catch 'em - sometimes the cute little lizards get killed in the playfulness. :(

Colleen said...

That lizard could probably tell what a good mommy you were to Pean and Cash. As could that baby deer.

JDizzle said...

I grew up in South Jersey and remember catching fence lizards in the woods. The males have the most beautiful metallic blue bellies.