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Monday, July 29, 2013

Erioderma pedicellatum

The globally endangered cyanolichen, Boreal Felt Lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum).

Suitable habitat.

Cyanolichens like the boreal felt lichen are barometers of air quality and ecosystem health.  Boreal Felt Lichen is shown growing on a patch of reddish liverwort (Frullania asagrayana) with which it is usually associated.

Two colleagues pointing at a lichen (Salted shell lichen which see below) and the reddish liverwort, Frullania (F. asagrayana) that are both excellent indicators of the presence of boreal felt lichen.

Salted Shell Lichen - Coccocarpia palmicola

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Swift Spittle

This is the second consecutive year this nest was used by endangered chimney swifts.  The pair produced 4 eggs earlier, however we could see only 3 young in the nest.  The copious and highly viscous gobs of swift spit used to bind the nest to the barn wall and hold the nest together is very apparent in this photo.  Twigs used to construct the nest are both deciduous and coniferous.  Note fresh bud tips lower right.

This barn is a biodiversity hotspot!  Two cliff swallows were nesting under eaves trough at center (see photo below), two pairs of tree swallows (one on each end of building), 1 pair of chimney swifts and about 4-5 pairs of barn swallows inside.  Many broods of starlings were also raised, but nested earlier than the other birds.

Two cliff swallow nests

The swifts nested in the shed behind the red door last year.

Last year's nest in the lower shed.

Swifts enter and exit through the small window near the roof peak.  The active nest is to the right of the window inside.

Three, maybe four well fed young that only a mother could love.

Young swifts in their nest were high up inside the barn about 25-30 ft up on an end wall.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Biodiversity in Old Buildings

Broken upstairs windows.

Metal roofing blown off makes an airy entry.

Absence of siding over boarded sheathing on one end of the building.

Chimney Swift nest constructed mostly of small twigs and highly viscous 'swift spit.'  If you look carefully at the photo, you can see a halo of swift spit around the nest.  An adult was on the nest incubating hidden from view when this photo was taken.  Note the rough sawn boards that afford less 'spit slippage' and a better, more safe and secure bonding of the nest to the wall than would any of the new building code approved boards that are planned smooth.

Newly fledged barn swallows.

This barn provides airy entry to wildlife with an open window in the peak and a piece of metal roofing blown off that affords easy flight for nesting barn swallows (3 pr) and one pair of chimney swifts.  It is located within 10 ft. from a forested main road, with no agriculture being practiced for several kilometers surrounding.

Tree swallow nest box.

Newly fledged cliff swallow.

Despite our search, this building had no swallows or swifts we could find, but likely supported a  large number of summering bats before their population collapse from white-nose syndrome.

We use a battery operated 'deer jacker lamp' to illuminate the inside of dark abandoned barns and buildings.

Horse shoe hinge...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Apple River Bar and More

“By virtue of Creation, and still more incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.”   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

(Illuminations XXV: Marine)

Chariots of copper and silver –
Prows of silver and steel –
Ploughing the foam –
Rooting up stumps of the thorns.
The currents of the heath,
And the vast ruts of the ebb-tide,
Flow away in circles towards the east,
Towards the pillars of the forest,
Towards the posts of the jetty,
Whose angle is battered by whirlwinds of light.

Arthur Rimbaud -  Published 1886 (translation A.S. Kline, 2008)