On Sunday, the 20th of Oct, I went on
a walking tour of the nature reserve areas of Forest Park
Peter Van Linn
of Forest Park. Here he is, with Bob Duffy of the St.Louis Beacon:
Here we are, heading out on the path:
We walked through the prairie grasses:
Peter talked to us about native and exotic plants and trees, the re-routing of the Des Peres river underground, the inter-connection of the various man-made water bodies in the park. I learnt something I did not know before...that all the water bodies in the Park contain tap water...the Des Peres river flows underground right through the park, and does not surface at all!
However, converting the habitat was one of the efforts undertaken by Forest Park Forever. Through controlled burns such as the one
the controlled burn of 2011 referred to here in The Beacon
he said that they were trying to convert this particular area into a prairie/savannah, but thanks to earlier-planted trees, and resurgence of plants, pines such as this beautiful one
were very common.
He told us how bare, or even dead, trees, support wildlife. This picture of a leafless tree with many
and this, of a
pecking at the trunk of a tree, illustrated his point:
Here's some dead wood in a picture I like:
Does this look like a bird walk? Because of the presence of Jocelyn Clogston (who took me to Rockwoods Reservation the first time) and her friend, Tom Bailey, who pointed out quite a lot of birds, it did, indeed, become one, too!
We saw this
eating its breakfast:
Tom pointed out this beautiful
waiting patiently for prey:
delighted us with another one, swooping along, catching insects:
did a fly-past for us:
I got an
duller at this time of year, having lost the bright yellow of summer..
sat high on a tree:
Even the Robins and the Starlings are looking different now:
Tom showed me several Yellow-rumped Warblers, but I couldn't photograph them.
Here you can see the various kinds of land: prairie, shading into savannah,shading into woodland (it's not thick enough to call a forest)
I was still riveted by sights such as these:
this (thanks to help from Fran Fulton)
at the outset of the walk;
Tom told me that this
WOOLLY BEAR (Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar)
was supposed to presage the severity of the winter to come, by the width of its brown band!
These aphids on the milkweed seed-pods
I walked back, enjoying the fall colors:
I peeped in on the
Orphan Car Show
(Apparently,Packard, Hudson, and Studebaker automobiles are considered glass and steel "orphans" because they are no longer in production.)
Let me close with the Halloween display at the Visitors’ Center:
NEW ENGLAND ASTERS
that bloom in the fall:
It was a very enjoyable morning.