I keep writing bits of this in my head while pedaling, but it never stays put long enough to make it to the website.
So instead of waiting to post again until I get it all polished in my head, here’s my next post. Mostly it’s a list of stuff I’ve noticed. The pictures are a mix of ones I took with my phone, and some are ones I’d never get with the phone so I’m going to cheat and take a pic with my phone of the camera playback screen… getting the pictures from the main camera onto my phone is a hassle and they still end up huge files. Honestly, if you want to know what the stuff looks like, doing a search online or in an ID book will get you better images than what I usually get with any of my pictures.
Kansas seemed to turn abruptly to Missouri. Kansas was open fields, corn stubble, and some hills, hot and kinda dry. Nothing really to stop the wind. After we hit the border, it wasn’t long until it became more rolling hills, trees, and much more humid with more water. Oh, and shade. Because it has more trees. Lovely shade! It’s also where I started to actually sweat and feel it. Kansas and Colorado were usually so hot but dry and windy, I’m pretty sure I was sweating but it was blown and dried before I actually felt it. Maybe it helped me feel cooler but I never felt the effect noticably? As it’s gotten more humid, I feel more like melting… except when I’d get a sudden breeze on me after body realized it was ridiculously hot and also had enough hydration to sweat. I’m making a real effort to drink a ton.
As the terrain and the water availability changed, obviously the flora and fauna changed. So here’s more stuff I’ve seen and done my best to identify… (I’ve so much more but have no clue what it was haha).
Larkspur species, maybe Trelease’s
Poppy Mallow probably
Pale Purple Coneflower
Joe Pye Weed
Monarda Bee Balm or Wild Bergamot
Wild Indigo, probably wild white indigo
Spiderwort of some kind or kinds
Queen Ann’s Lace
Ox Eye Daisy
Omg Dicksissels were insanely common in Kansas, less in so in Missouri but I’m still seeing them.
I’m seeing fewer to no Western Kingbirds, and more Eastern Kingbirds.
I’m pretty sure the Meadow Larks I’m seeing and hearing are mostly Eastern now, they sound less complicated.
I spotted a random bird in some woods on a break, and I happened to think it was interesting from the random glimpse I got. Luckily I managed to get my nice camera turned on AND the lense cap off AND aimed at the bird before it flew away. I looked at the pictures and I guessed cuckoo of some kind, and looked it up, and was kind of proud because it was a Yellow Billed Cuckoo. I was actually surprised because I hardly bother about them because they’re not usually around where I live so I bother thinking of them, just happen to see them in the bird book while flipping through to ID or check other stuff. I thought they had much more northern range, but actually they’re much more southern. I must have gotten them confused with cross bills or something. Well anyway, I’m happy because I’m not sure I’ve seen and identified one, but also when I listened to the recorded calls them, it matched a sound I’ve been hearing for a while and wishing I could manage to see what was making it because I was guessing something between a squirrel, wood chuck, or weird bird… well, bird it is!
I’ve confirmed seeing both of those two in the last few days but suspecting them for days from the terrain and location.
Eastern Mockingbird I was wondering when I would start seeing them, and in the last few days I did. And now some of them won’t shut up hahahaha!
Great Blue Heron – I’ve seen a few flying around. Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t seen more. I also am surprised I’m not seeing more hawks on the power lines and maybe shore birds or duck like birds in the water ways.
Red Eared Slider
We’ve rescued a bunch of them from the road (we move them to the side they’re heading to, so far just 1 tiny adorable slider and a bunch of box turtles). Unfortunately, there’s tons more smashed on the road…
5 lined skink – Just one, but I was stoked because you don’t see lizards (or “leeezard!!” as I tend to shout when I spot the first few on a trip) where I live.
Crayfish maybe a prairie crayfish — so one day after a rain storm we started to notice crayfish on the road. I moved a few off, and they were feisty! Like a big SUV carefully went past on the other side of the road as I was reaching down to move one and it changed direction from “Gaaaaa! Stay Back or I PINCH YOU!!!” at me and was like “BRING IT I PINCH YOU SO HARD” at something insanely more massive than it… Then as I gently scooped it up ot pinched my han (in the glove) as hard as it could… which was actually surprisingly hard but not enough to cause damage.
Red Tail Hawk
I keep getting excited when I see a hawk but usually don’t get any reasonable pictures and so far the pictures I can make any conjectures from suggest a Red Tailed Hawk. Which is cool and all but it’s a species so wide spread it’s usually what I see anyway, although maybe with regional variation. But it’s still cool to finally get pictures of a hawk from any distance.
Less surprising birds…
Cardinals are more common now
Morning Doves are still around.
American robins….yup still them, more now there’s more water away from homes and cities.
I’m not noticing as many Eurasian Collared Dove.
I’ve.heard a few cowbirds, and am seeing fewer Great Tailed Grackles.
Red Winged Blackbirds are still pretty darn common.
I’m also in a pickle, because I’m not good at hot weather…or sun. So after some sun burn and weird rash reaction I ended up shifting tactics to a loose long sleeve fishing shirt and long leggings but… I’m melting. So I tried shorts for a few days and despite literally applying sun screen almost every 30-40 minutes to my legs, the area above my knees decided that it would still burn and actually threatened to develop a rash. I put antihistamine cream on it that evening, and sucked it up and wore leggings again on the ride into Houston, MO…
I forgot to mention the BURROWING OWL (yes!!!) I spotted in … Colorado? Early Kansas? Anyway, I was excited!
It’s been interesting to see various livestock too. There seem to be more donkeys in fields with other species, I’m suspecting they may partially be a flock guardian. Also, there are a lot of mini horses. Maybe it’s easier to have a mini horse or several when they don’t have snow up to their bellies in the winter.
Well II can’t get any other pictures to load, so thanks for checking in! Written June 1st, in Houston, MO.