Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday on the Prairie

McKnight Prairie is greener now than it was when I visited two or three weeks ago. The pasqueflowers are now past their prime, but the prairie smoke is more plentiful, and I found a small patch of a tiny white flower that I think must be flowering spurge. Along the path, I ran into Carol, a librarian at Carleton who seven or eight years ago helped me mount a display in the library about ornithology in Rice County. The display included taxidermy from the Carleton biology department's collection, books and artwork, and archival material about Northfield's most famous ornithologist, Olin Pettingill (1907-2001), who taught at Carleton from 1936 to 1953. Out on the prairie, I asked Carol if she could identify the bird that was singing so exuberantly from somewhere nearby. She guessed, from its song, that it was a dickcissel. After a little more research, I'm pretty sure it was a sedge wren (the link includes an audio file of the song). Carol came impressively close on the identification.

2 comments:

Jim H. said...

That hill in the photo could be a small drumlin. Drumlins are diffucult to identify through their song, so I thank you for posting the photo.

If it's an esker, I'll eat my hat.

Chris said...

Nice pics. Btw, I gave you an award on my blog. Hope that's not too girly :)

Two New Online Publications

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