Field Notes Guided Walk in Forest Park, 201013

October 23, 2013

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: DSC00521 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 DSC00563 were very common. He told us how bare, or even dead, trees, support wildlife. This picture of a leafless tree with many AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES on it DSC00571 and this, of a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER pecking at the trunk of a tree, illustrated his point: DSC00551 Here's some dead wood in a picture I like: DSC00555 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 TUFTED TITMOUSE eating its breakfast: DSC00564 Tom pointed out this beautiful RED-SHOULDERED HAWK waiting patiently for prey: DSC00557 DSC00550 This EASTERN PHOEBE delighted us with another one, swooping along, catching insects: DSC00545 The usual RED-TAILED HAWK did a fly-past for us: DSC00542 I got an AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, duller at this time of year, having lost the bright yellow of summer.. DSC00536 A NORTHERN FLICKER sat high on a tree: DSC00532 Even the Robins and the Starlings are looking different now: DSC00531 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) DSC00580 I was still riveted by sights such as these: this (thanks to help from Fran Fulton) VARIEGATED FRITILLARY: DSC00511 at the outset of the walk; this DELAWARE SKIPPER on a CHICORY flower: DSC00582 and this GRASSHOPPER: DSC00576 Tom told me that this WOOLLY BEAR (Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar) DSC00520 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: DSC00585 DSC00539 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.) DSC00588

Let me close with the Halloween display at the Visitors’ Center:


and the


that bloom in the fall:


It was a very enjoyable morning.