Insects and Peppermints

Polka-dotted puff piece

Like a fuzzy mint confection, this Wool sower gall was a sweet treat for the eyes. Created by the Wool sower wasp (Callirhytis seminator) — or by its grubs — it’s apparently not dangerous to its host (a White oak, in this case).

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Kings crimson

Captain Scarlet

Red gape

A lucky day to be in the woods — seeing three male Scarlet tanagers (Piranga olivacea) was the prize.

Siblings or just acquaintances, they roamed the trees of the North Trail together.

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Buckeye candy

Orange plush

Beautifully colored and patterned, this Common buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) brightened the brown-gray field floor nicely.

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Huckleberry Found

Tubular bells

Ranging from red through pink to white, bell-shaped flowers hung in small clusters on shrubs along a woodland path. They may belong to a Black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) or something similar.

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Eyes white open

Variation on a vireo

Always a pleasure to see, this White-eyed vireo (Vireo griseus) has to be one of the cutest songbird tourists in town for the summer.

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Beginning to see the leaf

Pinking spears

Although they look more like pink flowers, I think these fleshy lobes along the stem may be the emerging leaves — perhaps those of a Black cherry tree (Prunus serotina).

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Eastern freebie

Grayscale

Blending in with the smooth gray tree trunks & charcoal shadows, this little Eastern phoebe was still noticeable as it groomed, preened, and perch-posed — a nice complimentary performance.

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