Meanwhile, in the sky above Milwaukee…

phoco:

This morning’s brilliant lunar eclipse in reverse, 4.15.2014.

That’s Mars toward the top right corner in the first photo.

Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, is the bright object close to the Moon.

"The Central Valley was once one of North America’s most productive wildlife habitats, a 450-mile-long expanse marbled with meandering streams and lush wetlands that provided an ideal stop for migratory shorebirds on their annual journeys from South America and Mexico to the Arctic and back.

"Farmers and engineers have long since tamed the valley. Of the wetlands that existed before the valley was settled, about 95 percent are gone, and the number of migratory birds has declined drastically. But now an unusual alliance of conservationists, bird watchers and farmers have joined in an innovative plan to restore essential habitat for the migrating birds.

"The program, called BirdReturns, starts with data from eBird, the pioneering citizen science project that asks birders to record sightings on a smartphone app and send the information to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in upstate New York.

"By crunching data from the Central Valley, eBird can generate maps showing where virtually every species congregates in the remaining wetlands. Then, by overlaying those maps on aerial views of existing surface water, it can determine where the birds’ need for habitat is greatest."

iitto-works:

Equisetum fluviatile with Moss

iitto-works:

Thalia dealbata (Water canna)

A few more images from the desert dome at Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatoty.

Inside the desert area at Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (a.k.a. The Domes) in Milwaukee, WI.

Some of the plants that are poking through the mulch right now (though they’ll soon be covered by snow, again, in the morning). Chives, nettle, thyme, catnip, ground ivy and motherwort, Jacob’s ladder, yarrow, some type of perennial succulent, alfalfa and blessed thistle.