Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Ramble with Storm: Honeysuckle and wild violets

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wildviolets05-14-13.JPG Mulling things

on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

In the past week, honeysuckle spilled over the old rail bed, now a trail, above the south end of the south old clay pit. The honeysuckle is so thick now that I have to push my way through, thick enough I am considering coming some down and cutting it back.

From reading the Illinois Natural History Survey summary of honeysuckle, I am certain this is the invasive bush honeysuckle, not one our native honeysuckles.

Here is the key description of the differences from the INHS discussion:

Bush honeysuckles are easily separated from native honeysuckle species by their stout, erect shrub growth. All native species are "woody twiners" that are vine-like in nature.


If like me you enjoy such readings, I highly recommend this one for those honeysuckle connoisseurs among us.

It is that time of year. Lilacs, redbuds and dogwoods explode with color.

This morning I noticed the wild violets everywhere, enough that I stooped to take a closeup of some.

According to an entry on the University of Illinois Extension Service, most people consider them weeds. Others of us consider them kind of beautiful. I fall in the later camp.

The south wind blew hard enough make the tops of trees crash into each other and creak enough to give the meathead the jumps this morning.

Astonishingly different morning than yesterday. It was 35 degrees with scattered frost yesterday morning. This morning it was 59 degrees when we came past the bank thermometer.

For the first time this spring, the Canada goose families swam on the north pit, with the goslings starting to mingle.

I noticed fewer red-winged blackbirds trilling, fewer mourning doves cooing and fewer robins rooting in lawns this morning. I don't know if it was simply a matter of getting a later start now while it is starting to lighten up already at 5 a.m.

A quick pass at my secondary morel spot produced no mushrooms. None.

Gray squirrels scooted around the thickening underbrush, where I couldn't see them but Storm could. So he naturally lunged unexpectedly often.

Spring comes closer on a daily basis.


stormtight.jpg

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 14, 2013 8:24 AM.

Wild of the Week: Ducklings on the porch was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing is the next entry in this blog.

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