Birds Around the Weigela

an exceptional bloom for our backyard wonder

Sad to say, today, Sunday June 12th, the flowering bush is spent, the blooms withered and falling. Pam took time to document some visitors while the Weigela was in its glory. This is a sample of the species we enjoy while washing the dishes.

These photographs were taken by Pam through our windows with her Iphone 8 plus.

Here is a series of informative signs from Cass Park, just down the hill on the Cayuga Lake Inlet. Pictured are resident birds, most of them visited our backyard feeder.

Click me to find background information on our Weigela bush.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cochise Spring

ancestral Apache land

Interstate 10 between Benson and Wilcox ascends through a field of enormous, eroded granite boulders. Off to the west are the Dragoon Mountains, otherwise known as “Cochise Stronghold.”

Informative sign at campsite

Starting from the campsite is the “Sky Islands Traverse” hiking trail, leading up into the mountains. I wandered from the trail to follow a dry streambed to this residual pool of water, the time being early spring, and this is what remained from the winter rains.

A single butterfly of the genus Anthocharis generally called “Orangetip” for the colorful upper wing tips. These exist throughout the world, here in Arizona they migrate across the desert, obtaining refuge and nourishment from “Sky Islands” such as the Dragoon Mountains

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Video recap — McKee Dinosaurs 2022

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Tour of the ten (10) dinosaur exhibits, including movements and sounds, from Dinosaurs Around the World. I included scans of the brochure with map and details.

Use this map to follow dinosaurs around the park.

Background information on exhibit

Memories…..

Reference: scans of McKee brochure, front and back.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Protoceratops, a caring parent (?)

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Protoceratops was a very common, small, herbivorous dinosaur first discovered in Mongolia.

It had a parrot-like beak, and a bony frill over its neck that was probably used for display to other Protoceratops, much like the crests of chameleon lizards today.

There appear to be two forms of the frill, suggesting there were differences between males and females.

Recently a Protoceratops nest was found containing hatchlings, leading some scientists to believe this successful species cared for its young.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Triceratops, one of the last

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Triceratops was one of the last dinosaurs to walk the Earth. It is known for its large skull with a neck frill and three horns. Its head could grow to be over 8 feet long, almost a third of its body length. It was an extremely common dinosaur, and hundreds of specimens have been recovered. When first discovered, it was mistaken for a giant extinct bison. Wounds on the head of these animals indicated they commonly engaged in head-to-head fighting. Bite marks also indicate they were often eaten by Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Triceratops emerges from the jungle

Head and neck

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Iguanodon, hooves like a horse

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Iguanodon was able to walk on all fours or stand on its hind legs to reach higher plants. It has hooves like horses. Its hands had an opposable digit, like a human thumb, used to grasp branches. This digit had a spike used for fighting other Iguanodons, in defense and feeding, as a tool to open fruits for example.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Oviraptor, an egg protector

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Oviraptor was a small, carnivorous, toothless dinosaur from Mongolia. It had a bony crest on its head and a beak like a bird. Based on its close relatives, it had feathered, wind-like structure on its arms, and a broad, feathered tail. When it was first discovered in 1932 in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, it was found on top of a nest of eggs. Paleontologists initially thought the Oviraptor died feeding upon the eggs and thus named it “egg stealer.” However, a recent discovery revealed these were Oviraptor eggs — it was merely protecting its own nest! Stomach contents show it actually ate lizards.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Minmi, only one found

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Minmi was a small, quadrupedal, armored, herbivorous dinosaur from Australia. Its head, neck and body were covered by bony armor, very much like today’s armadillos. Although it was slow and small brained, its armor protected it from predators. Only one specimen has been found, but it included stomach contents that show it ate leaves, fruit and seeds, and that it chewed up the plants before it swallowed them. Minmi is the location in Roma, Queensland, Australia where this dinosaur was discovered.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Baellynasaura, Big Eyes (?)

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Baellynasaura was a small, bipedal, herbivorous dinosaur from Australia. Unlike today’s reptiles, its top and bottom teeth touch when chewing, allowing it to consume plants. It had a remarkably long tail, which contained over 70 vertebrae, as much as 75% of its total bodyt length. It is believed Leaellynasaura’s large eyes were used to see during the long nights that Australia experienced. Recent studies, however, show that these specimens discovered are juveniles; hence, like puppies and kittens, their eyes are large regardless of where they are found in the world.

Click me for the first post of this series, Amargasaurus a “small” sauropod.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Tyrannosaurus Rex, a star

A selection from “Dinosaurs around the world,” McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most famous of all dinosaurs, was among the largest carnivorous animals ever to walk the planet. Tyrannosaurus Rex had enormous skulls lined with up to sixty, seven-inch long teeth and could generate bite forces as great as 8,000 pounds. This allowed them to easily bite through both flesh and bone. They fed upon duck-billed dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs and even one another. Finds of multiple dinosaur fossils in the same location suggest they formed herds. A recent study showed that they lived to just thirty years of age.

Thank goodness humans never shared the environment with “The Rex.”

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved