Rainbow Dragon's Dares

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    May 5 Daily Dose of Nature

    I have a non-bird entry for you today, in the interest of trying to actually get to bed on time for once. My magnolia tree finally bloomed this week, with the first blossoms opening on Sunday, May 3. This isn't a wild plant. It's not even a naturally occurring one. Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia × soulangeana) is a man-made hybrid. But it sure is pretty. I look forward to this tree blooming every spring. (One day soon I will dig up for you some photos of the magnolia species which is native to my area, but for today, I'll leave you with these pretty pictures of my cultivated plant.)

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      Very nice, we are a couple of days or a week behind up here, only seeing buds so far.

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        Wow. Beautiful!

        Magnolia blooms in March here. That's a very healthy specimen.

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          Thanks for the pictures. I don't think I have ever seen magnolias, if I have I didn't knew they were magnolias.

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            I always think of magnolia trees (and other seed based plants) as time travelers because of this segment:

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              May 6 Daily Dose of Nature

              This morning I checked my "Rare Bird Alert" email to discover that a Yellow-throated Warbler had been discovered in my area yesterday. Yellow-throated Warblers do sometimes wander up into Ontario--so they're not as big a deal as the Great Kiskadee was--but they are pretty rare up here and so still a pretty big deal. I have never seen one myself. So I decided to head down to the trail where yesterday's bird had been sighted to see if I could find it for myself.

              Alas, I did not find the Yellow-throated Warbler. Another birder who had been out searching the trail for two hours already before I got there had also failed to find the bird today, and he was one of the folks who saw it yesterday, so he knew where to look. It appears our Yellow-throated Warbler caught a southbound wind last night and headed back down over the lake to more hospitable climes. So no new bird for me today. But it was far from a wasted trip. I enjoyed a lovely hike on a sunny day, saw lots of other great birds (got some nice photographs of a few of them, which I will share with you over the coming days), and I met up with a couple of Rondeau friends who I had not seen so far this year, with the park being closed. So it was a great day overall, in spite of not getting what I had gone for.

              Here's a nice photo from today's hike:

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              "Now, hold on a minute, Laura," I hear you say. "That's cheating! You've shown us Mute Swans before."

              And you're right. I have. But look closely at the bird on the left.

              Do you see it?

              My previous post about Mute Swans was back in March. But it's May now, and this pair of Mute Swans has hatched themselves a little cygnet.

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              I did not think you'd want to miss seeing this little one, so took a chance you'd all forgive me for double-posting on a species I've covered before.

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              Little swan cygnets swim around tucked in close to one of their parents, which makes for excellent camouflage. I might have missed this one today if the birder who'd reported yesterday's Yellow-throated Warbler to eBird hadn't also noted in the same checklist that this pair of Mute Swans had a new baby, believed to have hatched just yesterday.

              Here's another shot of mama and baby--being brave in this instance and straying a bit far from mama's side:

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              But the baby is still well-protected. Dad is not far away, always keeping a watchful eye on his young family.

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                It's so beautiful

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                  How cute! There's a swan at the pond next to my running route, but he's still in the nest, probably waiting for the little ones to hatch. But I already saw several young geese with their parents this year.

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                    BABY!! How adorable!

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                      So cute. Thanks for those RD

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                        Well worth the repeat🥳👏🏼Thank you!!🙏

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                          Thanks for posting the pictures of the cygnet.

                          It made me realize though that I will probably miss seeing all the Canadian Geese babies this spring though because of the COVID 19 precautions that are in place. The long-term facility / rehabilitation centre that I work in (my job is supporting a couple of pediatric audiologists) is near a fair sized man-made lake, and there is always a lot of birds (Canadian Geese, Ducks, Pelicans). One of the audiologists and I would go for an outside walk daily when it is nice outside for a portion of our lunch break, but we haven't been near the lake this spring.

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                            Are you not allowed to walk outside there, Seri ? We have a number of outdoor facilities closed in Ontario, but no prohibition on going outside in general. The public health unit in my municipality has repeatedly published articles and tweets advising people that we should still be going outside, in fact. Last week, our Medical Officer of Health dressed up in a sea captain's costume and made a video entitled "Catch Fish, Not Covid-19" in which he reminded people of how physical distancing rules apply to fishing.

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                              Bsby swan is adorable.... esp in a picture, bc if I see one in person Im to busy vacating the area LOL.

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                                That's pretty impressive that a seed could survive in the wild for that long, oneironaut . Thanks for posting!

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