To all those interested in the natural world. Please add your sightings.

In the woods we return to reason and faith-Emerson


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sneezeweed Yarrow, Hug Peanuts and Common Dodder - a parasitic member of the Morning Glory family - could all be found in flower today.
In my kitchen garden a Hummingbird Moth known as the Snowberry Clearwing danced from flower to flower.

common dodder

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A walk through a local woodlot today turned up three
varieties of Rattlesnake Plantain: Downy, Checkered, and Dwarf. Rattlesnake plantains are orchids that have low rosettes of checkered leaves and tall spikes of tiny white flowers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spotted Coralroot - an orchidaceous oddball with no leaves and no green pigment - held aloft its dull purple flowers with their red-spotted, lobed, white lips today.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Drab grayish-brown juvenile Red-Bellied woodpeckers followed their parents through my yard today, hoping to be fed. Young Broad-winged Hawks flopped awkwardly through the understory, hunting optimistically yet waiting for their parents to provide game.
Nodding Pogonia AKA Three Birds Orchid started to flower in wetter locations. Ten days ago I could find no trace of it! Rain seems to be the critical component.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Today on Park Laughton Rd, Bugleweed was in flower and Pearly Crescentspot Butterflies guarded every wildflower patch.
In a wet ditch the aptly named Turtlehead was in flower and for once I could see the rationale behind their name... I could see the turtles!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A baby lightning bug! About half an inch long.
So that's what those fireflies are glowing about in June.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today in a swampy area, Palm Warblers flitted through the dense tangle. Purple-leaved Willow-herb and Ditch Stonecrop flowered along the muddy edges, and Virgin's Bower tied all together, ribbon-like. Along the drier roadsides Alsike Clover and Burr Dock made their first appearance of the year.
Blueberries are in fruit on top of Blueberry Hill officially called Prospect Hill. In addition to eating blueberries and blackberries Betsy Whittaker and I saw two turkeys.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bluebirds have fledged a second batch of young. Foxes are killing small prey animals and leaving them along game trails and footpaths where their half-grown kits will find them: a first step toward eventual independence for the kits.
Along the West River, Spotted Knapweed, Bedstraw Bellflower and Dwarf St. Johnswort were in flower. On a dry roadside Spiny-leaved Sow-thistle with its shiny dark green clasping leaves and its bright yellow flower heads glowed as if it had been freshly enameled.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today, along Beaver Pond Road, Hairy Willow Herb, Meadow Cranesbill and Spotted St. Johnswort were all in flower. In the shade, deer flies attacked viciously. In the sun it was Hot! Summer is here with a vengeance.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Today along the river I was surprised to find that Canadian Burnet is in flower. I was even more surprised to learn while reading about burnet that it's in the Rose family. A less rose-like flower would be hard to imagine!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today the Morning-glory-like flowers of Hedge Bindweed dotted the roadside thickets. The odd little flowers of Galinsoga hid in the sparcer weed patches. Pale Jewelweed, a flower I've wanted to find in my neighborhood, smiled out at me from a wet ditch, and False Dragonhead with its spotted-lipped tubular flowers were an unexpected bonus.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This morning started with a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker fledgling hammering on my aluminum snow belt. Along Camp Arden Road Agrimony pointed spikes of tiny 5 petaled yellow flowers skyward, and Square-stemmed Monkey flower turned its lavender and yellow faces up from the rain soaked field.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Common Tansy with its nearly rayless yellow buttons is opening floral constellations along the roadsides, and in the fields Pale-spike Lobelia, in colors from sky-blue to white, splashes exclamation points onto ranks of their sun faded predecessors.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A scarlet tanager pecking dirt in the driveway (on Partridge Road) for a minute or two. Although i hear their chick-burr every day, i haven't seen one in 31 years.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This morning several House Wren fledglings caromed around my yard approximating their parents' flight paths to the best of their meager abilities.
In the treetops the first Dog-day Harvest fly (our local Cicadas species) tuned up to announce the dog days.

Monday, July 5, 2010

On Thursday evening I watched a doe giving a lesson in crossing a blacktop road to a newborn fawn. They were posed on the center line of East-West Road, with the youngster teetering to stay upright. I was stopped observing the sight, when a car approached from the other direction and stopped. The fawn panicked and fell. Mother stood her ground, waited for the youngster to get up, and together they walked to the other side of the road. Once on familiar footing, they bounded into the woods.
On Saturday, June 26, Bill McKim was biking on Quarry Road. About 100 yards north of the iron bridge, he saw a bear walking across the West River (toward Route 30). Some people had stopped on Route 30 and were walking back toward the bear. This caused the bear to turn around and head back to Quarry Road.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The bold, bright, orange pattern on a Red Admiral butterfly blazed hotly like a ring of fire against its black wings - as it sailed over my field this afternoon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The brush was full of birds this morning. A Chestnut Sided Warbler with its bright yellow cap and chestnut streaked sides sang loudly from a prominent perch. Soon a male Indigo Bunting moved to a tall weed stalk and posed coolly as several bunting fledglings gathered around. And finally, a male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak landed on a nearby twig.
A more colorful selection of birds would be hard to imagine!