… breeding mulleins out of the dead land.

by Greg Mayer

March continued its cruelty, and less than two weeks after they emerged in Virginia, mulleins emerged from the dead land of Wisconsin as well.

Mullein, Saukville, Wisconsin, 23 March 2010. Photo by Eric Hileman.

The above was one of a number of mulleins Eric Hileman and I found and photographed while reconnoitering his Butler’s garter snake (Thamnophis butleri) study site at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station. The plywood board against which the mullein nestles is one of several hundred in a 15m mesh grid that the snakes use as cover, enabling Eric to find them and track their numbers and movements.

Eric Hileman and a snake cover board amidst the dead land, Saukville, Wisconsin, 23 March 2010.

The progress of spring continues apace. Earlier tonight, in Franskville, Wisconsin, I passed a chorus of chorus frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) in wet fields and sloughs calling so loudly that I could hear them in my car with the radio on and the windows closed at 45 mph!

4 thoughts on “… breeding mulleins out of the dead land.

  1. I envy you the transformation of spring. Here in Australia, the seasons tend to be slow transitions (and not dramatic ones!). It must be wonderful to witness life burgeoning like this.

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