Monthly Archives: September 2014

Peek-a-boo puffball

Covered neatly with stiff white peaks of meringue — or so it seemed — this Puffball mushroom (something in the Lycoperdon or Calvatia genus perhaps) looked like an airy, if fungal, confection peaking out from behind a few weedy leaves.

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Lord of the red spot sea

Perched among some woody squiggle vines, this Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) blended in very well with the branch bark, other than adding one small spot of color.

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Blue dune, without a cove of my own

Beach plum plants (Prunus maritime) laden with soft purple-blue moons lined the trail around one of the observation decks on Sandy Hook. The powdery skins of some seemed etched with fruity hieroglyphics.

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Jersey devil

Sprinkled with spines and sporting black-tipped head prongs, this Hickory horned devil caterpillar (Citheronia regalis) is one funky-looking bug — and fairly good sized, at 4+ inches in length. As overloaded with appendages as it was, it seemed to be … Continue reading

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Un-Green Peace Pipe

A strange thing to come across in the woods, Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) — at least in this red-stemmed form — looks like the result of an unlikely grafting experiment crossing an asparagus with a candy cane. (Earlier post about … Continue reading

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Get on the leaf foot

Not sure what species this is, but I think it’s in the Leaf-footed bug family (Coreidae) — although in this case, the leaf-like padding seems to be more on the leg than the foot.

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Rubber wavy muggy clumpers

Looking like warped, rubbery citrus slices, this cluster of wild mushrooms — I think Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus cincinnatus) — added bit of orange spice to the brown-green-grey woods.

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Finding common loon ground

Although not having too much immediate luck despite his sizable bill, this Common loon (Gavia immer) kept plunging for fish in the waters of the Manasquan Reservoir. I think this might be a non-breeding adult, or perhaps a juvenile.

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Good nightshade Irene

Hanging like a juicy bunch of tiny tomatoes, the poisonous fruit of the Climbing nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) looks all too innocent. (Earlier post about nightshade flowers.)

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False eye splashes

If not for the oversized ocular ovals on its back, this Eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) would’ve blended in fairly well as it crossed an asphalt path. Smaller and less noticeable, its actual eyes are closer to the antenna bases.

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