Morning Brunch in the Meadow

By Boak Wiesner

A pretty orange and magenta sunrise gives way to a pearly stratus-filled sky over the meadow on the east side. Big Bluestem still provides some much needed color to the otherwise drab landscape. Such a quiet morning still me so I let my eyes do the work. I wonder what’s afoot this morning?

DSC_0036Some Oak Apple Galls are strikingly apparent. The wasp larvae that were once snug inside became the meat course for some Downy Woodpeckers probably.

DSC_0037It looks like some Chickadees chowed down on the Gall Fly larvae that were inside these galls on some goldenrod. See the cone-shaped holes?

DSC_0040Some Goldenrod seeds have yet to be dispersed by the wind. Their fuzzy appearance helps soften the cold grasp of winter.

DSC_0047A Red-tailed Hawk flew over and landed in a tree but a murder of crows mobbed it and away it flew. It could be hunting the voles in the meadow the tracks of many I came across.

DSC_0052Along with the hawk, an ermine has also been out hunting. It keeps its feet together when it bounds in a long-short-long-short pattern.

DSC_0063No wonder voles make tunnels under the snow to avoid hungry predators like these.

DSC_0062Boak Wiesner is a Minnesota Naturalist Volunteer.

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