I went back to the Chicago Portage last Saturday and figured out the three big trees with berries. After seeing the berries in my photos, they looked like mulberries to me. Sure enough, the trees are Black Mulberry, which can get up to 50 feet high, and at the Portage over the long period of time, they look like they have.
My history with mulberries is brief, but years ago one tree made an impression on me. There was a White Mulberry (Chinese) in my yard when I first moved in, and I quickly tired of the Starlings leaving a berry mess all over the place, not to mention the fact that you can never entirely get rid of mulberry trees, so I had the tree removed but I have to remain constantly vigilant, cutting down shoots here and there, if I can’t dig them up. More pictures of a Black Mulberry Tree below.
Maybe it was too early in the day for butterflies as there were absolutely none, but there were dragonflies and damselflies.
Predictably, many of the birds were juveniles, like the Red-Winged Blackbirds below.
And most of the birds were quite far away. For the record, a Cedar Waxwing and a Northern Flicker.
The Mourning Doves below were at first a bit closer but didn’t wait for my shot (left) and then were cautiously distant (right).
It was nice to see an Osprey fly over, for a change.
And a flying cigar (Chimney Swift).
And quite unexpectedly for both of us, a young buck White-tailed Deer on the trail ahead of me.
Wildflowers still captured my attention.
In particular I was glad to see the Jewelweed (impatiens capensis, Spotted Touch-Me-Not) starting up again. I’ve been seeing a couple hummingbirds at the Portage the last few weeks but not close. There’s always the possibility Jewelweed will attract them when it’s in full bloom.
And sure enough, Burdock and Pokeweed are on the chopping block.
More unfinished Starlings below…
And Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and a Baltimore Oriole.
House Wren and Gray Catbird… Indigo Buntings abound.
This coming Sunday, my flutist friend Linda and I are playing flute-and-piano music for the service at the Second Unitarian Church in Chicago. Not sure I will be able to venture out again this Saturday morning. I slept in last Sunday…