My Favorite Week

Hi River Roaders,

This week is probably the best time for listening to (and sometimes seeing) migrating birds. I heard at least a dozen different wood warblers and neo-tropical migrants on our grounds today. I was able to identify some by their song, including black throated blue warber, ovenbird, and Swainson’s thrush, but others I identified only as “birds I don’t normally hear around here.” In addition, our nesting birds, such as robins and catbirds, are very active.

Common grackles nest on our grounds and frequently visit the springs. Most folks think they are just black, but in the right light, their iridescent greens and blues come through.

We have one large leucothoe located on the slope above the first spring. It’s a great evergreen plant, with white flowers typical of the heather family.

Several wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) were blooming last week. Thea planted these for her girl scout project.

Our two white fringetrees (Chionanthus virginicus) are in full bloom right now. They are behind the sculpture in the lawn outside the Sanctuary.

The lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) we planted last year are now blooming in the Springsview Garden.

We have many species of sedge on our grounds. I believe this is Gray’s sedge (Carex grayi) in bloom in Springsview Garden.

The ever-photogenic fleabane (Erigeron sp.) which is blooming all around our grounds now.

We have one stand of blue flag (Iris versicolor) growing in Springsview Garden. I hope to divide it later this year and move some closer to the path.

We have a pair of nesting red-bellied woodpeckers in a maple tree in Springsview Garden. If you use your imagination, you can see the light red tint on the belly.

I hope you can get outside this week and listen for bird songs that you don’t normally hear.