June 8, 2013

A sparrow-sized, sapphire blue bird landed at the edge of The Stockpond this afternoon–blue all over, unlike the Blue Grosbeak, which has wingbar and shoulder of russet. This was smaller than a grosbeak, and if it be possible was of an even more spectacular blue color than any of the grosbeaks (which seem closer to indigo to me.) “I wonder … that must be an Indigo Bunting,” I thought to myself. Sure enough, there landed next to it on either side two beautifully plumaged Blue Grosbeaks, as if this all were on a page in a field guide that instructs one in the differences between two similar species. The Indigo Bunting is something of a rarity here, however; this is only the second one I’ve ever seen on The River.

Golden Crownbeard (Verbesina encelioides, or as it’s known in this country, “Cowpen Daisy”) has come into bloom in the north wildling swath of Pasture #2. For bringing in butterflies this showy plant’s brightest of yellow flowers has few equals.

Quelites (here, Amaranthus palmeri) seedlings are sprouting in all the bare soil edges–who hasn’t tasted the young plants of this wild green to be gathered in plenty has really missed something delicious, and free. Prepare it and cook it just as you would spinach. The herd we have early today brought down the Cascabel Road half way to Mason’s from their winter range will still have lots of it to graze no matter how much I might harvest once the temporales begin, or rather, if the temporales begin.