Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!


Today was such a wonderful day (after the initial shock of waking up way to early in the morning to get to work). Both free newspapers I get handed in the morning ran a ton of earth-friendly articles - from fashion to politics including cooking, cleaning, and traveling. I've selected a few to discuss over the next couple of weeks.

To highlight this year's Earth Day, I wore a blue t-shirt under a green blazer embellished with a thrifted vintage rose broach. I told everybody I could about this international day and ate a trashless lunch. My absolutely favorite part of the day was walking through the Alpine Garden and seeing all the spring flowers in bloom, the Japanese Alpine Cherry (Prunus nipponica) especially.

[ I couldn't just put one!]

I'm very proud to announce that I heard, spotted, and identified a beautiful male American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis).
You can find this picture and loads of information about this bird and many others by visiting Right Bird, an online bird identification tool. (Click Here)

I also had the wonderful opportunity to hear the high-pitched trill of the American Toad (Bufo americanus) testifying the early beginning of their mating season. (Click here to hear a recording) When they sing, their throat inflates like a balloon. If you've seen The Princess and the Frog, you'll know what I mean. I even caught two of them in the act. A smaller male grabbing a larger female with its forelegs in what is referred to as amplexus.
Bufo americanus mating - Amplexus

Unlike this beautiful picture by Betsie Rothermel, no eggs were visible at the time. They are about 2 weeks early this year, like most things in the Gardens. They usually start calling in May since April tends to still be covered in snow and doused with cold showers.

With flowers, birds, and toads in mind, I'm off to bed.
Take care!


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