Monthly Archives: August 2014

Chestnuts roasting on an …

… August day. Whoever first looked at the spike-covered fruit of a Chestnut tree (genus Castanea) — the arboreal analogue of a sea urchin — and thought it might harbor something remotely edible was a true culinary daredevil.

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The frog comes on little splat feet

Pale and marked with a few stripes, including the telltale ‘X’ on the back, this Northern spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) was hard to spot as it hopped across the tops of grass leaves on its padded-toe feet. Smaller than your … Continue reading

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Aquatic pick-me-up

Flanked by their large, lily-like leaves, pointy purple clusters of Pickerelweed (perhaps Pontederia cordata) are flowering along the water’s edge at Franklin Lake Park in West Long Branch.

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Taking a powder

This delicate damselfly — perhaps a Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta) — found a nice fern frond to rest on in Thompson Park. Its long, segmented abdomen looked like a decorative piece of dark bamboo.

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Campion gear

Drooping on the stem like a jellyfish with filament feelers or an upturned water sack, this small Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) stands out among its splay-petaled neighbors.

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The Vertical Day in the Sun

Not at his preferred eating establishment at the moment, but certainly nearby, this Red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) flew and climbed his way around a group of several large plants.

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Three-form display

This one stem of Soapwort or Bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis) simultaneously showed several stages of its flower form: from unopened umbrella to full throttle propeller, ending with deflated balloon.

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