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

In the woods we return to reason and faith-Emerson


Thursday, August 16, 2018

8-16 Definite Tussock Moth caterpillar

A caterpillar called the Definite Tussock Moth caterpillar rests on a twig.
A good crop of Dwarf Enchanter's Nightshade carpets wet places.
A colorful little Garter snake waits patiently for me to leave.
Definite Tussock Moth caterpillar

Dwarf Enchanter's Nightshade

Garter snake

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

8-15 American Yew

The bright red berry-like cones of American Yew seem almost translucent.
The greenish-white flowers in long branching groups of umbels mark
Silverrod is starting its flowering. Silverrod is the only white goldenrod.
American Yew berry



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

8-14 Three-seeded Mercury

Large leafy bracts and clusters of tiny flowers tucked in the leaf axils make Three-seeded Mercury easy to identify.
A colorful Tachinid Fly paused just long enough for me to takes its picture.
Three-seeded Mercury

Tachinid fly

Monday, August 13, 2018

8-13 Bur Marigold

Bur Marigold, AKA Beggar's Tick, are flowering.
Colorful, but not positively identified, galls line an Oak twig.
Bur Marigold

Gall on Oak twig

Saturday, August 11, 2018

8-11 Dead Man's Fingers

Although they start out white in the spring, the fungi called Dead Man's Fingers turn a carbon black by late summer. They grow on the stumps of Maple and Beech.

Friday, August 10, 2018

8-10 Hog Peanut

The tiny paired flowers of Hog Peanut drape grasses and weeds.
Panicled Tick-trefoil lurks along the edges of dry woods.
A juvenile Great Blue Heron looked for lunch in the field behind my house.
Hog Peanut

Panicled Tick-trefoil

Great Blue Heron

Thursday, August 9, 2018

8-9 Carrion berries

The grape-like fruits of Carrion Flower drape thickets.
Two species of Calligrapha beetles posed nicely while I took their pictures.
Carrion Flower fruit

Calligrapha Beetle

Calligrapha Beetle

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

8-8 Turtleheads

Aptly named Turtlehead can be found in wet ditches and along shores.
Diminutive Canada St. Johnsworts flourish in damp lawns and low places.
A male Northern Walkingstick perched on a Black Locust. We routinely see these insects in even numbered years but find none in odd numbered years.

Canada St, Johnswort

Northern Walkingstick - male

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

8-7 Galls

Grape Phylloxera galls make a grape leaf nearly identifiable and Willow Cone galls look as if they should e in evergreen forests rather than on river banks.
Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars devour milkweed leaves one after another before they go their individual ways.
A Red-spotted Purple/White Admiral Complex basked in a patch of sunlight. The two butterflies are varieties of the same species and often interbreed.
Grape Phylloxera galls

Willow Cone gall

Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars

Red-spotted Purple/White Admiral

Monday, August 6, 2018

8-6 Locust Treehopper

A Locust Treehopper - one of many thorn mimicking hoppers - perched on a goldenrod.
In the woods, Three Bird Orchids were at their delicate best.
Locust Tree Hopper

Three Bird Orchid

Sunday, August 5, 2018

8-5 Suphur Polypore

Sulphur Polypore makes the base of a tree seem to blaze.
Rough Hawkweed is in flower along road sides and in old fields.
A Red-tailed Hawk perch hunts from a utility pole.
Sulphur Polypore

Rough Hawkweed

Red-tailed Hawk

Saturday, August 4, 2018

8-4 Large Cranberries

Along the West River, in an area inundated by every freshet, Large Cranberries are setting fruit.
Large Cranberry

Friday, August 3, 2018

8-3 Blue Curls

The delicate little mint family flowers known as Blue curls are starting to open.
Both red and white Baneberries can be seen in the woods. white baneberries are also known as doll's eyes.
Blue Curl

Red Baneberry

White Baneberry

Thursday, August 2, 2018

8-2 Groundnut

The fragrant flower clusters of Groundnut drape riverside thickets.
Whorled Milkworts dot a grassy area near the river.
Spotted Coralroots - saprophytic member of the orchid family - are found in shady woods with deep layers of rotting leaf litter.

Whorled Milkwort

Spotted Coralroot

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

8-1 Black Knapweed

Black Knapweed is in flower and AMbush Bugs are lurking in Goldenrods hoping that an unwary insect comes within reach.
Also seen: two recently fledged Cooper's Hawks and a Goldfinch gathering nesting materials.
Black Knapweed

Ambush Bug

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

7-31 Water Lily

Sweet-scented Water Lilies float in quiet ponds, Swamp Roses color wet thickets and Dwarf Cinquefoil lurks among the grasses in lawns and other short grass areas.
Sweet-scented Water Lily

Swamp Rose

Dwarf Cinquefoil

Monday, July 30, 2018

7-30 Dodder

Dodder, which is parasitic on other plants, is opening its little white flowers as it drapes and twines through damp thickets.
Wild Cucumber swaths higher thickets.
The bright yellow flowers of Partridge Pea can be seen in waste places.
A Monarch caterpillar rested on a Milkweed pod while nearby two Monarchs laid eggs on tender young milkweed.

Wild Cucumber

Partridge Pea

Monarch caterpillar

Monarch butterfly egg

Sunday, July 29, 2018

7-29 downy Rattlesnake Plantain

The dense flower spikes of Downy Rattlesnake Plantain can be found in deep woods, and in pine stands.
Saprophytic Pinesaps are pushing up through the leaf litter.
Hickories seem to be having a great mast year - rodents should thrive.
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain


Shagbark Hickory nuts

Saturday, July 28, 2018

7-28 Pearly everlasting

The white woolly under leaves and stem of Pearly Everlasting make it easy to identify. Its white bracts remain tightly clasped around its yellow flower heads.
A Small Milkweed Bug was feeding on goldenrod.
Curled one-sided racemes of tiny white flowers rise over the insect trapping leaves of Round-leaved Sundew.
Pearly Everlasting

Small Milkweed Bug

Round-leaved Sundew