False eye splashes

Roving eyes

Roving eyes

If not for the oversized ocular ovals on its back, this Eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) would’ve blended in fairly well as it crossed an asphalt path. Smaller and less noticeable, its actual eyes are closer to the antenna bases.

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Chestnuts roasting on an …

Sharp flavors

… August day. Whoever first looked at the spike-covered fruit of a Chestnut tree (genus Castanea) — the arboreal analogue of a sea urchin — and thought it might harbor something remotely edible was a true culinary daredevil.

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The frog comes on little splat feet

Featherweight grass hopper

Featherweight grass hopper

Pale and marked with a few stripes, including the telltale ‘X’ on the back, this Northern spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) was hard to spot as it hopped across the tops of grass leaves on its padded-toe feet.

Smaller than your average cherry, its slight weight was easily supported by a few green blades.

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Aquatic pick-me-up

Pickerelweed spear on the side

Pickerelweed spear on the side

Flanked by their large, lily-like leaves, pointy purple clusters of Pickerelweed (perhaps Pontederia cordata) are flowering along the water’s edge at Franklin Lake Park in West Long Branch.

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Taking a powder

Six-part ab

Six-part ab

This delicate damselfly — perhaps a Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta) — found a nice fern frond to rest on in Thompson Park. Its long, segmented abdomen looked like a decorative piece of dark bamboo.

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Campion gear

Little round jug

Little round jug

Drooping on the stem like a jellyfish with filament feelers or an upturned water sack, this small Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) stands out among its splay-petaled neighbors.

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The Vertical Day in the Sun

Out on a climb

Out on a climb

Not at his preferred eating establishment at the moment, but certainly nearby, this Red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) flew and climbed his way around a group of several large plants.

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