Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens – June 2019

The plants that are the main attractions during  the June and July at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens are the lotuses and the water lilies.

The lotuses were in full bloom in the later part of June when we visited but there weren’t many seed pods yet.

I also found a rolled-up lotus leaf that was interesting. The leaves are round, balancing on a central stem but they start out as a scroll like structure that unfolds. This one was still tightly coiled. I might use it as a prompt to create a Zentangle pattern.

 The water lilies did not seem as dense as they have in previous years and I wondered if the rains and cool temperatures earlier this summer impacted the water lily development.

The button bush was beginning to bloom; I didn’t notice any seed pods yet. There is a ways to go before all the flowers are pollinated…lots of bee activity.

Two trees stood out:

There was a group of developing pine codes high up in a pine near the entrance and

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Some shelf fungus growing around a knot (maybe where a branch had been). It looks a little like a bear face to me. I’d noticed it last year too. The shelf fungus look more cracked this year but they still have the orange underneath.

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I heard green frogs and searched the shallows from where the sound seemed to emanate….but never  saw the frog.

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A pearl crescent butterfly opened its wings as it sat in the grassy path and paused long enough for me to get a picture.

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We saw two different kinds of turtles (identified with the help of a reference from Maryland Department of Natural Resources): a small red-eared slider (not native to our area but invading) and

A large northern red-bellied cooter – which is native to our area. It was a large specimen. I wondered how long it had taken to get that big…about 12 inches.

Both ponds had a lot of algae and muck so the turtle shells looked grubby but the heads were vey distinctive…enough for the identification.

Overall – the field trip to Kenilworth was worthwhile and very enjoyable. We went in the morning before the day got too hot.

Some last images of South Texas

As I finished up the post yesterday about the San Antonio Botanical Garden – I realized there were a few more miscellaneous pictures I wanted to share from our South Texas adventure. Every day near sunset hundreds, maybe thousands of birds gathered on the roofs and electrical lines around our hotel in Harlingen. The last night I managed photograph some with some sunset color behind them. Many of them are grackles.

The next morning we headed to the National Butterfly Center first but decided it was too cold and wet for butterflies to be out and about when we got there. I photographed a male and female Boat-tailed grackle on the lawn and

The water lily in the little pool.

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Then I noticed a red-eared slider in the water too. It is native in southern Texas…but invasive in Maryland. It’s included in the list of the world’s most invasive species!

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We headed out for a state park in lieu of the Butterfly Center and then heading toward San Antonio. The one rest stop we made along the way had this forest mosaic.

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As we drove into San Antonio, I managed a picture of the Tower of the Americas through the car window. It was built for the HemisFair in 1968 and I remember making the trip to the event with my Camp Fire Girls group; I was in the 8th grade.

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One last bird picture: a cold White-winged Dove taken from our hotel window.

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