Raven – photo by H. Valey
In some parts of the US, Ravens are pretty ubiquitous. Here in Austin their appearance is a bit more rare, but it seems I see more and more of them every year. Austin is a bird friendly town and in that fashion the Austin UT campus has set up a couple of cool bird cams this spring. The first one was the Peregrine Falcon cam on the University Texas Tower and now there is a Raven cam. A nesting pair of Ravens has set up a nest outside of the Texas Advanced Computing Center on campus and you can watch them raise their chicks online while you’re at work. Pretty cool stuff!
As the work week starts to wind to a close I always get antsy for Saturday when finally I’ll be able to get out into the woods… here’s some nature nurture to keep you all hanging in there until the weekend.
photo by H. Valey © 2018
purple Windflower – photo by Heather Valey © 2018
This year being no exception, the Windflower is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring, usually late february. You’ll find it blooming in purple, white, blue and violet. The blooms are about 1 and a half inches in diameter. They aren’t big flowers at all. Probably the main thing that keeps them from being stepped on is that they are one of the few plants not brown at the moment!
As you can see, the center of the flower forms a cone protruding from the base. Once the flower has finished blooming, the seeds fly away on the wind, which gives the plant its name. After its brief blooms it will go dormant in the summer.