Saturday, May 17, 2008

Max says ..the view is great..

Max - El Presidente II is sitting on top of an old birdhouse in our garden.

I love cats because I love my home and after a while
they become its visible soul.
- Jean Cocteau

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Trillium -Trilliaceae - Melanthiaceae.

Trillium is a genus of about 40-50 species of perennial herbaceous flowering plants,
native to temperate regions of North America and Asia.
They used to be treated in the family Trilliaceae or Trillium family,
a part of the Liliales or Lily order. Common names include trillium, wakerobin, and birthroot.
The above ground parts of Trilliums are scapes with three large, leafy bracts with the true leaves underground as a papery covering around the rhizomes.

Trillium with Polypore - shelflike mushrooms on Maple tree.

Picking the flowers of Trillium can seriously injure the plant. The three leaves below the flower are the plant's only food source and a picked trillium may die or take many years to recover.

For this reason in many areas, e.g. British Columbia, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington, it is illegal to pick trilliums.

It is also protected and requires written permission to transplant or move in the state of Wisconsin.[citation needed] While a popular belief is held that it is illegal to pick the common Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) in Ontario, no such law actually exists. However, the Trillium flexipes (drooping trillium) is protected by law in Ontario, where it maintains its very small Canadian population.
Trillium is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants and mice.
Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they can be protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant garbage.
Some trilliums have a flower which is bent downward, below the leaves.

A white trillium serves as the emblem and official flower of the Canadian Province of Ontario. It features prominently on the Franco-Ontarian flag.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

last spring flowers still in bloom..

In unserem Garten blühen noch die Frühlingsblumen...

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Fox Vulpes vulpes ...Skunks oder Stinktiere (Mephitidae)

Fox is watching our cat Max and me taking pictures....

Fox asked: " How do you want me to pose? "

"Standing in front of the fence?
Perhaps sitting in the grass looks nice too".

"Did I tell you that a Shunk recently moved in and
has started to built a den under your garden shed?"
...said the fox. No wonder, it smelled so bad last night..

Striped Skunk
This animal produces an odour that is strong enough to be carried almost 1 km on the wind is one of the most useful small mammals that inhabit Canada’s mixed farmlands, grasslands, and forests.

Description The striped skunk Mephitis mephitis is about the size of a cat, but has a stout body, a rather small head,
short legs, and a bushy tail.
Its small head fits conveniently, but sometimes too snugly, into enticing open jars.
The thick, glossy fur is black, with a thin white stripe down the centre of the face and a broad white stripe beginning
on the back of the head, forking at the shoulders and continuing as a white stripe along each side of the back to the base of the tail.
The tail is mostly black, but the stripes may extend down it, usually to a tuft of white at the tip.
It moves slowly and deliberately and depends for safety not on running away or on remaining inconspicuous, but on its scent glands.

Skunks belong to the weasel family Mustelidae, all of whose members have well-developed scent glands and a musky odour.

The skunk is outstanding for this characteristic, however, and can discharge a bad smelling fluid to defend itself.
Indeed its scientific name, mephitis, is a Latin word meaning bad odour.
Signs and sounds
An angry skunk will growl or hiss, and stamp its front feet rapidly.

Die Skunks oder Stinktiere (Mephitidae) sind eine Familie der Raubtiere.
Die zwölf Arten dieser Gruppe leben vorrangig auf dem amerikanischen Kontinent, genetische Untersuchungen haben auch die Zugehörigkeit der südostasiatischen Stinkdachse zu dieser Gruppe bestätigt.
Die Bezeichnung „Skunk“ stammt über englische Vermittlung aus einer Algonkin-Sprache und ist der fachsprachliche Terminus, auch wenn umgangssprachlich oft das Wort „Stinktier“ bevorzugt wird.
Merkmale Skunks sind durch ihr kontrastreiches Fell gekennzeichnet.
Die Grundfarbe ist schwarz oder dunkelbraun, das Gesicht, der Rumpf und auch der Schwanz sind mit weißen Streifen oder Flecken versehen.
Ein charakteristisches Merkmal sind die ausgeprägten Analdrüsen, die ein streng riechendes Sekret absondern,
das bis zu 6 Meter weit versprüht werden kann.
Das Sekret besteht hauptsächlich aus (E)-2-Butenylmercaptan (C4H7SH), sowie aus 3-Methylbutanthiol und den entsprechenden S-Acetyl-Verbindungen.
Es soll im Geruch einer Mischung aus Knoblauch, Schwefelkohlenstoff und angebranntem Gummi ähneln.

Skunks erreichen eine Kopfrumpflänge von 12 bis 51 Zentimetern, eine Schwanzlänge von 7 bis 41 Zentimeter und ein Gewicht von 0,2 bis 4,5 Kilogramm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Surprise: Groundhog Marmota monax is living next door..

After the foxes moved in..

now we have another new resident in our neighbours garden..

The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as the woodchuck or whistlepig, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Most marmots, such as yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but the woodchuck is a lowland creature. It is widely distributed in North America and common in the northeastern and central United States. In the west it is found only in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, and northern Washington.
Mostly herbivorous, groundhogs primarily eat wild grasses and other vegetation, and berries and agricultural crops when available.

Groundhogs also eat grubs, grasshoppers, insects, snails and other small animals, but are not as omnivorous as many other sciurids.

A nearly-motionless individual, alert to danger, will whistle when alarmed to warn other groundhogs.
Groundhogs are excellent burrowers, using burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating.

An excellent article is available on this website: Hinterland Who's Who..Woodchuck

Nach den Füchsen ist nun ein Murmeltier in unsere Nachbarschft eingezogen und wohnt bei unserem Nachbarn im Garten.
Mal sehen wie Max reagiert..

Das Waldmurmeltier (Marmota monax, engl. Groundhog oder auch Woodchuck) ist ein Nagetier aus der Familie der Hörnchen. Es gehört mit dem in Europa vorkommenden Alpenmurmeltier der Gattung der Murmeltiere an.
Während andere Murmeltierarten in felsigen und bergigen Gegenden leben, ist das Waldmurmeltier ein Flachlandbewohner.

Es ist in Nordamerika weit verbreitet, insbesondere in Alaska, Alabama, und Georgia. Im Westen Nordamerikas findet man es in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia und im nördlichen Washington.
Waldmurmeltiere sind meist zwischen 40 und 65 cm lang (wobei der Schwanz etwa 15 cm lang ist) und wiegen zwischen 2 und 4 kg.

In Gegenden mit wenigen Feinden und großem Nahrungsangebot können sie bis zu 80 cm lang werden und bis zu 14 kg wiegen. Sie haben in freier Wildbahn eine Lebenserwartung von bis zu sechs Jahren, in Gefangenschaft von bis zu zehn Jahren.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Maple Leaf tree - Quien a buen arbol se arrima...

Quien a buen arbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija.
He who gets close to a good tree, will have a good shade.
- Spanish proverb

Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf Maple or Oregon Maple) is a large deciduous tree in the genus Acer. It grows to be up to 35 m tall, but more commonly 15 m to 20 m tall. It is native to western North America, mostly near the Pacific coast, from southernmost Alaska south to southern California. Some stands are also found inland in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, and a tiny population occurs in central Idaho.

Cultivation and uses
Maple syrup has been made from the sap of Bigleaf Maple trees. While the sugar concentration is about the same as in Acer saccharum (sugar maple), the flavor is somewhat different. Lakwungen First Nations people of Vancouver Island call it the Paddle Tree and used it to make paddles and spindle wheels.

Der Oregon-Ahorn (Acer macrophyllum), auch Großblättriger Ahorn genannt, ist eine Laubbaum-Art aus der Gattung der Ahorne (Acer). Die Heimat dieses Baumes liegt im westlichen Nordamerika.
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rose-breasted Grosbeak...Rosenbrustkernknacker

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)


The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, boldly patterned in black, white, and rose, is easily identified.
The drab, striped female, however, is more of a challenge, resembling a large sparrow or finch.
A common bird of forests and second growth, the grosbeak's song is like that of the robin,
only as sung by an opera singer, being mellower and more sweetly melodic.

Size: 18-21 cm (7-8 in)
Wingspan: 29-33 cm (11-13 in)
Weight: 39-49 g (1.38-1.73 ounces)

Female streaked brown and white...........Male strikingly colored, with black back and hood

Die Kardinäle (Cardinalidae) sind eine Vogelfamilie aus der Ordnung der Sperlingsvögel (Passeriformes).

Sie sind nahe mit den Tangaren (Thraupidae) und den Ammern (Emberizidae) verwandt und werden oft auch als Unterfamilie oder Tribus der letzteren angesehen. Von manchen Autoren werden alle eben genannten Familien zu den Finken (Fringillidae) gestellt.
Die Familie enthält 14 Gattungen und 42 Arten.

visitors in our garden... on May 11, 2008
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