Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween costume

This Woolly bear caterpillar looks appropriate for the season in its orange & black fur coat. When he (or she) grows up, it’ll be as an Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella).

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Azure enough

Several of these stunning Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) were flitting about the swamp pond in the morning. The males are especially well attired, trimmed in shiny sky satin. They seemed to be checking out the dead trees as potential homes … Continue reading

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Eyeing colors

This radiant branch, I think of Red maple (acer rubrum), was hanging low over a creek. Sun rays passed through its leaves at just the right angle to create a psychotropic prism of colors.

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Scaled down version

Even from a short distance, this little guy looked just like a skinny earthworm wiggling its way across the blacktop. On closer inspection, though, it seems more likely to be an Eastern worm snake (Carphophis amoenus amoenus).

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They call me mellow yellow (quite rightly)

A small flock of these Yellow-rumped warblers (Setophaga coronata) were zipping in and out of trees, dining on what others might find unpalatable: poison ivy berries. Meanwhile, this rather serene-looking female found a quieter spot nearby to take a brief … Continue reading

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Stickball figure

Looking like a verdant medieval flail for squirrel-sized knights, this spiky seed pod from a Sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) was lying just down the path & across the creek from the persimmon.

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Kinda kinky

Out for an afternoon stroll, this Oil beetle (genus Meloe) briefly scurried across a fallen leaf while crossing one of the asphalt paths of the park. Based on the kink in his antennae, this one may be a male. Depending … Continue reading

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Pucker up

About the size of a cherry tomato, this Common persimmon (Diospyrus virginiana) was nestled among the leaf litter along the path between the park and the library. Falling from what seems like an inordinately high canopy (guessing 50-60 feet up), … Continue reading

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Two Ways of Looking at a Heron

This magnificent Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) was assessing the fishing possibilities to be had in the small swamp pond this afternoon. Graceful and patient, this bird has an amazing size differential supplied entirely by its supple, snake-like neck. It … Continue reading

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Halloween fireballs

Sheathed in yellow casings, the bright orange berries of this Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) emerge to form mini pumpkin patches to decorate the autumn woods. This vine was growing along the edge of Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, NJ.

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