Well, the heat was down but it is almost preferred than having soaked feet beginning before dawn. It rained heavily throughout the area most of the night but cleared for our latest banding attempt. Once the Sun came up the grasses all looked like this.
Trees were dripping all morning. When the squirrels weren't causing small rain showers as they ran through the oaks we could still find some pretty views.
With all the extra water the river was up again. However, it is now a lovely color of chocolate milk!
Talked to rangers Frank and Gary and they say there is construction a bit up river but the silt is still flowing around the barriers. Must be Oompa Loompa Union 48...
Looking up river near the banding table, you can see that the silt is to blame as the water coming from Bosse Lake is as clear as ever as it reaches the Little Wekiva.
Birds were few and far between. Figure they are avoiding the extra wet conditions plus there are not as many insects out for the same reason. We did recapture a Blue Jay early on. The only other bird banded today was a adult male Mourning Dove.
As such, we continued some maintenance and made more discoveries. Like this probable last bloom of the Button Bush.
As that shot was being taken we noticed a Tiger Moth keeping dry.
The dragonflies were out hunting and besides our typical pondhawks there was a nice species we believe to be a Great Blue Skimmer.
The Elderberry plants have been spreading more and more as we remove the other, invasive species. This year is a bumper crop of berries already and the blooms are still going strong. Lots of food for Fall migration.
Other berries were found along the trail. Most likely, they belong to a Smilax laurifolia, or Greenbriar.
Close by, a lone yellow flower, a Chapman's Pea (Chapmannia floridiana), brightens the shaded greens.
Next to net 5 there were a bunch of tiny mushrooms sprouting up from the decaying leaves...
...while overhead the sun paints rainbows on the spider webs.
Lastly, we did have another bird sighting. A beautiful Green Heron was hunting along the edge of the muddy river. Always a joy to watch.
As the title of this post alludes to, this week wraps up our second full session of banding at Lake Lotus. We will take a 6 week break before beginning banding again in early August. We will return from time to time to keep the net lanes clear but other than that we will get some rest and avoid the heat for a while.
There may be a couple of posts along the way focusing on highlights from the past session. Stay tuned!
Next Banding Day: Sunday, August 8th.
All nets will be opened around 6:30 A.M.