Killer clown wigs from outer space

That little red-haired gall

That little red-haired gall

Like playdough pushed through a sieve, orange fungus oozed from Cedar-apple rust galls, creating a clownish yet alien look on an Eastern red cedar. Not content with just one host, spores from these squishy fingers may infect apple and other fruit trees in the area.

(Earlier post about a bald gall.)

Posted in Flora, Fungi, Lichens, & Mosses, Joe Palaia Park, Trees & Shrubs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two snaps and a twist

Bigfoot smackdown

Bigfoot smackdown

Open wide and say ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

Open wide and say ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

Two enormous Snapping turtles — probably males — were writhing, clawing, and definitely snapping in the marsh pond.

With shells alone a foot or more in length, these two adversaries were formidable fighters, presumably vying for territory and/or mates.

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Henbit part

Minty fresh

Minty fresh

A few stems of this lovely little flower were growing just by the side of the road near the library meadow.

A member of the mint family, its name — Henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule) — sounds more ominous than its appearance would suggest.

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Feathery flag semaphore flourishes

Spread-goose

Spread-goose

'W' is for 'waterfowl'

‘W’ is for ‘waterfowl’

As part of the preening ritual, one of this Canada goose pair spread & rotated its wings in a fringe-filled flaunt.

The fluid wing movements suggested any number of analogous activities, including symphony conducting, football refereeing, and naval flag signaling.

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Dusty Spring-yield

Powder bath

Powder bath

Insects are beginning their seasonal trickle into the area, including this pollen-covered bee.

Even though not too much is flowering just yet, it managed to find enough yellow powder somewhere to cover itself from big-eyed head to hairy little foot.

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Bewitching powder

Sugar-coated swampland

Sugar-coated swampland

No tree is an island

No tree is an island

With temperatures above 80 today, the four-ish inches of snow that fell only last week seem a distant memory.

While it lasted, though, the crystal covering turned both woods & bog into a magical snow globe and made an ordinary walk an enchanting, otherworldly experience.

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Seal level

Fatty harbor freight

Fatty harbor freight

Sandbarflyby

Sandbarflyby

Twenty-five or so Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) soaked up the sun on a sandbar in Sandy Hook Bay this morning.

More heads bobbed up here and there in the surrounding water, while gulls, ducks, and Brant geese went about their normal business.

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