Date: 9/17/18 5:45 am
From: Joseph C. Neal <joeneal...>
Subject: Pine Warblers and Indian Grass
Pine Warblers were singing ďall over the placeĒ yesterday in vicinity of Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area east of Rogers. The 2.5 mile drive along Key Road from Highway 12 to the nursery pond on Beaver Lake follows a series of ridges dominated by Shortleaf Pine. Pine Warblers are common along Key Road, but nine of them seemed a relatively high number. Number 10 was singing in the parking area at the nursery pond.

I have always found it difficult to discern fall movements in a bird like this that is present all year, but not easy to find when they arenít singing. So much activity like this does suggest to me fall migration, but Iím unsure. In addition, other birds were also singing, including Yellow-throated Vireo and Summer Tanagers. Several White-eyed Vireos were singing in the bushes and small trees at the nursery pond. I also saw a Least Flycatcher and got a quick look at what was likely a House Wren, also likely on the move.

Besides the singing of Pine Warblers, Key Road right now features great examples of native grasses, including both Indian Grass and Big Bluestem Grass. These appear along unpaved shoulders, under powerlines, and clearings in the woods. At a couple of spots there are small patches of Silver Plume Grass, Saccharum alopecuroides. This is a tall and always impressive native grass. The pretty little native wildflower, Dittany, is blooming in woodland shady spots.

These are just a few examples of the natural Ozarks that occurs widely in our area, but sure easy to miss. No matter how much money we have in the bank and no matter how fancy the house in which we live, we sure live in desperate and usually self-imposed poverty if we donít recognize the song of Pine Warblers in our native Shortleaf Pines and true elegance of a stand of Indian Grass.

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