Friday, October 12, 2007

Any Idea What This Is?

Any idea what this plant is? I'm curious to know. It was already here when I moved in. Haven't seen anything like it in any of our local nurseries. I suspect its origin is tropical...or extraterrestrial. Some kind of triffid, perhaps? This year it's had quite a growth spurt, and recently developed a flower stalk for the first time that I can recall.

Yesterday I had a couple of interesting flyovers while watching the sky over our backyard. In the morning I saw my first Northern Flicker of the season, and at dusk I had 3 small unidentified ducks (probably woodies) go hurtling by.

The arrival of winter migrants is often associated with cold snaps. This morning we noticed the weather had turned chilly, and maybe that had something to do with the addition of Red-breasted Nuthatch to my yard list today (#124). I had one at High Island about two weeks ago, and there have been widespread reports of sightings on Texbirds, so finding one here was no big surprise. Texas is in the midst of a Red-breasted Nuthatch invasion, and I was expecting to get one sooner or later. They like conifers, and our neighborhood has plenty of pines for them. I only saw one at a time, but my observations this morning may have involved two or more birds.

It was definitely a good day for nuthatches. Later on I watched a Brown-headed Nuthatch taking sunflower seeds from our feeders. It's the first time I've ever seen one at a feeder, and certainly the best look I've ever had at one (they usually forage up in the treetops). Simultaneous with the arrival of the nuthatch there was a Pine Warbler at the feeders and a Summer Tanager at our birdbath.Found this Fish Crow on the road into our neighborhood. The picture was taken from my car window. Judging by its behavior it was probably sick (West Nile Virus?). Appeared to be weak and a bit unsteady. After allowing me to get within a few yards it suddenly flew right at me and landed on the car roof. Bird must be trippin'!

I guess I can now reveal the super-secret location of my circle for the 'Big Sit". This Sunday I'll be at the Smith Point Hawk Watch Tower, located south of Anahuac on the edge of Galveston Bay. Anyone who wants to help count raptors and/or take part in the 'Big Sit' is free to join us. Y'all come on down!


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous david said...

It may be one of the Crinum lilies, but I'm not certain. I'm pretty sure it's not a killer though (unless you try to eat it). :)

At 10:30 AM, Blogger John said...

Correctimundo! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! With your help I found a good match for my plant in a hybrid Crinum - C. americanum × C. zeylanicum.


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