Sunday, May 10, 2009

Purple buds

This is my favourite find today, found in a little meadow close to the north valley watercourse and the only one of its kind we noticed. This flowerhead is positively bursting with richly purple buds and the whole stalk stood perhaps two feet from the ground. Not sure what it is yet, I don't recall ever having seen this before- though- I suspect it's a member of the lily family.

A blasted tree, not far from north valley watercourse.

Poised and waiting, a mosquito perches on my husband's office wall. Probably one of the Culex mosquitoes. Malaria carrying Anopheles mosquitoes used to be a serious problem in Israel before many of the swamps were drained with the help of eucalyptus trees. Culex. are still very common though, using concealed water collections.

Garden: house sparrows, many calls of white spectacled bulbul calls, sunbirds in the Bauhinia, calls and some song, which confirmed my thinking that the sweet lark like morning song was not that. I've heard it a few more times just as it's starting to get light.

Hooded crows about, foraging on the hillside, one harassing a Buteo, (long legged buzzard probably) up on the ridge just north of the north valley watercourse. Jackdaw calls. Blackbirds active, high 'tzeet' alarm calls almost top of our hearing range.. this was when we were coming up trail to the end of Shadiker.. probably a nest close to there. Graceful warblers active, vocal, seen foraging low down ground level and tops of pines, very busy bringing food for young. Collared doves active, cooing, as were turtle doves. Stone curlews calling as it became dark and later, regular lately. Chukars heard and 3 seen in flight, coming down from slopes south of watercourse quite swiftly down to the valley. Masked shrikes heard calling a few times near watercourse, in acacias. Eurasian jays also vocal and active. Nice views of pair of hobbies flying together over the watercourse.

In cypress grove by watercourse nice size Indian porcupine spine found as well as a pile of fresh gazelle scat.

Weather: similar to yesterday, perhaps a little warmer.. info service not available right now

Viscid Jerusalem sage Phlomis viscosa is still blooming in a stand close to the north valley watercourse. (though this is one of the pics Avremi took of those by the windsurfer saddle watercourse some days ago. These plants can stand 4 feet high or more

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