Thursday, February 11, 2016


Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
A raptor that prefers live fish, Osprey are commonly found near shorelines and banks throughout most of North America and South America during different times of the year. They are large with slender bodies and narrow wings. They have a distinct marked kink in their wings creating an M-shape when seen from below.

Distinctive M-shape similarly seen when flying.
With a lifespan of around 20 years, Osprey may travel more than 160,000 migration miles during their journey from the Americas, with breeding grounds in North America and wintering grounds in South America. Unlike other hawks, osprey have a reversible outer toe and barbed pads to held them catch their prey of fish; however, if a Bald Eagle is nearby, it may chase the Osprey and force it to drop its catch. Similar to other raptors, Osprey were seriously endangered until the ban of DDT in which the Osprey has since made a remarkable comeback.

Note: As I said I would earlier, I'll post my decision here. The next post will be for a month hiatus, but as I will hopefully have some new animal and plants to share later, I will continue posting. In the meantime, while I'm on hiatus, I will be resharing some old posts on Google+, and with over 415 posts on this blog, there is no telling which ones I'll choose!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mexican Olive

Mexican Olive, Cordia boissieri
Sometimes known as Anacahuita, Mexican Olive is a small tree that historically grew no further north than the lower Rio Grande Valley counties. It has successfully been grown as far north as Austin, but the colder winter cause some die-back, and it cannot tolerate a colder climate as the roots will freeze. Mexican olive has large, evergreen dark leaves with constantly blooming showy, white trumpet-shaped flowers with petals resembling crepe paper. In addition to being a great hummingbird plant, butterflies frequent the blooms and birds, deer, and cattle enjoy the fruits and leaves. While the fruit is edible for humans, they are not considered palatable and are not recommended to be consumed in large quantities. Although regular watering is necessary for establishing, Mexican olive is drought tolerant and needs little care after establishing making it a popular choice for highway planting.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Busy (Hiatus)

Another week of no posts due to conflicts. I'm considering simply switching to every other Tuesday and Thursday until something changes (if it does), but for now I am unsure. I'll likely decide next week, and when I do, I'll include it on the post this upcoming Thursday.