Horned Lark in Redstem Filaree – Nikon D500, f10, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Birds by themselves are great, birds with wildflowers are even greater in my opinion and any time I have the opportunity to take bird & wildflower images I will jump at the chance. The wildflowers certainly add a punch of color to my bird photos when they are in bloom.
Redstem Filaree (Erodium cicutarium) is in full bloom right now here in northern Utah and they have even tinted the hillsides on Antelope Island a delicious shade of pinkish-purple because they are blooming so profusely. I have photographed Willets, Burrowing Owls and Chukars and I’m certain a few other species of birds that I can’t recall this morning which include Redstem Filaree in the frames.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph a male Horned Lark on Antelope Island State Park that included Redstem Filaree in the photos and I was delighted, that pop of bright color sure says “spring” to me.
Wildflowers and a Horned Lark – Nikon D500, f10, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Redstem Filaree is an introduced herbaceous annual (biennial in warmer climates) which has become invasive in deserts and arid grasslands, it is native to the Mediterranean Basin and was introduced in the 18th century. I’ve read that the entire plant is edible but I don’t think I will nibble on it myself. I don’t recall ever seeing a bird or animal on Antelope Island consuming it but I suspect that some of the birds there may eat the seeds after the plants are finished blooming and the seeds have set. These wildflowers are also called common stork’s-bill, redstem stork’s bill and heronsbill.
Whatever they are called the blooms of Redstem Filaree are always a welcome addition to my bird photos because the dainty flowers are so cheery and I think they add a touch of whimsy to my images.
As I have been writing this post this morning I have heard the wind start to howl loudly outside my window and I know that a storm front is moving in that will bring clouds, rain and perhaps the last snow of this winter. Old Man Winter seems reluctant to give up his hold but I know that Spring has arrived and I wonder what great birds will arrive after this storm moves on.
Life is good.