Merlin and Some Close-up Botany: Sept 29, 2022

There is a dead tree near the Don River at Beechwood which has a merlin sitting in it about one in every twenty times I look.


It was there this morning.

watching a Merlin

Although the occasional Merlin is seen in winter here, most migrate to the southern USA, Central American and northern South America.

Merlins eat mostly birds, typically catching them in midair during high-speed attacks. They often specialize on hunting a couple of the most abundant species around; prey are generally small to medium-sized birds in the 1–2 ounce range. Common prey include Horned Lark, House Sparrow, Bohemian Waxwing, Dickcissel, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, and other shorebirds. (


Other life:

Garter Snake
Eastern Phoebe
Red Ground Beetle
Song Sparrow
Shadow Darner

Some close-up botany:

Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
White Cockle (Silene latifolia)
Tansy (Tanecetum vulgare)
Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus inserta)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
Teasle (Dipsacus fullonum)
White Sweet-clover (Melilotus alba)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Rose Hip
Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
White Cockle (Silene latifolia)

Today’s group:


The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
The plants suck in the earth and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair.      – Abraham Cowley (1618–67)

Miles Hearn

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