Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mothra Larva wannabe

Found this furry little crawler by the James river in the Colonial National Historical Park just outside Williamsburg, VA. I think it will become a Whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma). To me it looks more like Mothra should in the … Continue reading

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Toxic tickler

With deceptively appealing coral-lined leaves, this freakishly large Eastern poison ivy plant (Toxicodendron radicans) made me itch just looking at it. (I hope the spider hanging out on the underside of the curly green leaf near the top has access … Continue reading

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Golden pond gourmand

This American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) may have been getting a drink of water as well, but he seemed mostly interested in eating the algae floating on the surface of the little swamp.

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Pests on parade

Like microscopic syphons, red aphids (superfamily Aphidoidea) marched along these flower stems, stopping at regular intervals to suck up sap. I think the unfortunate host here may be a Common beggarticks (Bidens frondosa) of the aster family. Although gruesome in … Continue reading

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Botanical Candy Land

Not really sweets at all, these bright orange berries on a small Verbanica magnolia tree (Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Verbanica’) certainly look enough like candy-coated confections of one brand or another. Freshly popped from their casings, they may be tasty tidbits … Continue reading

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Ladies of leisure

Female green darners seem drawn to the fruit of the Winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) growing along the eastern edge of the library field. This one was lounging while late afternoon rays glinted on her wings like bright-penny embers. The berries … Continue reading

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Flossyplants

From a distance, the feathery fruits of this vine resemble tufts of cotton, but a closer view reveals their more finespun nature — like minute ostrich plumes. May be some type of Clematis vine — perhaps Devil’s Darning Needles (Clematis … Continue reading

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Catbird treasure trove

This Gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) looked to be really enjoying the bright red berries of a small Sweetbay tree (Magnolia virginiana) and was downing them just as fast as he could.

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Loose yourself

These violet spikes are found around the wetter edges of the park. I think they’re Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Its petals stretch out of tubular bases to welcome the marsh air, while the tighter bud spikes at the top are … Continue reading

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Sticky little acrobat

Not sure, but this woodland aerialist may be another orbweaver, this time an Orchard orbweaver (Leucauge venusta). They seem to prefer to build their webs horizontally and dangle from underneath.

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