The Upright Stuff

Red October

Red October

Last month, several red dragonflies were flying around the Little Silver Nature Trail, sometimes resting on the boardwalk that cuts along and across a creek. This one — perhaps an Autumn meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) — preferred to perch vertically on a tree trunk.

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Buckeye witness

Sitting pretty

Sitting pretty

A flashy little flier, this Common buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) took a few minutes to rest atop a meadow leaf and bask in the early afternoon light.

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Guacamolde

Arboreal avocado

Arboreal avocado

Little bits of mold-like moss or lichen grew in just the right way around a fallen log’s knot to suggest a split avocado.

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Little pate of butter

The Return of the Kinglet

The Return of the Kinglet

Crown jewel

Crown jewel

Back in this area for winter, or perhaps just passing through, this Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa) hopped & pecked its way through grass and underbrush looking for insects.

Apparently undisturbed by close observers, this small bird was practically underfoot at times.

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Blue in the face

tiny-atlantic-marsh-fiddler-crab-2

Strong-arm

In a different area of Sandy Hook, a salt marsh was teeming with little Atlantic marsh fiddler crabs (Uca pugnax). During low tide, the crabs scrambled about the remaining pools of water and wedged themselves under layers of broken reeds for cover.

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Ah, baccharis!

Painting the beach white

Painting the beach white

Along one section of dunes on Sandy Hook, several Eastern baccharis bushes (Baccharis halimifolia) were covered with fluffy, white-plumed fruits with purple bases. Like tiny paint brushes or clothes whisks, these whispy elements gave the shrubs an overall feathery look.

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Scudderia missile

Bush, Kate(ydid)

Bush, Kate(ydid)

As it fluttered by, this Bush katydid (genus Scudderia) looked like a whitish bit of fluff floating through the air. After it landed, though, its remarkably leaf-like appearance became clear.

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