Thursday, June 30, 2022
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Food and Drink
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Monday, June 27, 2022
Whilst out removing tangled fishing line from trees overhanging the lake today (wildlife hazard), I was lucky enough to get close to this fishing spider.
Sunday, June 26, 2022
What part of taking away people's rights to make decisions for themselves is okay?
From the TV series The Handmaid's Tale
The supreme court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade is going backwards to the Middle Ages! Before christianity, most cultures had their own way of ending a pregnancy, using abortifacients such as herbal infusions (e.g. pennyroyal and silphium), teas, pessaries or deliberate, heavy manual labor. It's not new. It's an individual's choice, not a societally prescribed ruling.
What's the point of giving the supreme court sovereignty to establish the laws of the land and constitutional rights if it's there to be revoked?
I'm really struggling with this maniacal, patriarchal turn our country's taking. It's scary. Where will it end?
Saturday, June 25, 2022
I always think of an egg when I look at the yellow center of these fragrant waterlilies, Nymphaea odorata.
Magnificent! Paddling through them is a feast for the senses.
Friday, June 24, 2022
This beauty spent the day against the glass of my sliding door, so I was able to take pics of it from all sides - lucky me!
Its common name is the giant mayfly, widespread in, and native to, the United States. Their larvae eat mosquitoes. This is its underside:
These insects are bioindicators: gauges of ecosystem health; they cannot tolerate polluted/poor waters.
This individual was stationary (and not dead) the entire day on a vertical sheet of glass, and I was able to get right up close to its wings without it startling.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
This is a new native wetland plant for me. I'm so excited! It's the creeping buttercup, probably Ranunculus reptans, found growing on a stump on a kayaking expedition.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
A delightful new wetland species for me - common rush (Juncus effusus), I believe, that has been growing right under my nose near my dock. It's food for my beloved muskrat.
It has delightful little bursts of white flowers halfway up its length
Monday, June 20, 2022
What a beauty I was greeted with on my recent paddle into our wetlands. These rose pogonias (Pogonia ophioglossoides)were blooming along all the swampy, sphagnum moss edges - stunning.
Rose Pogonias by Robert Frost
Sunday, June 19, 2022
The official emancipation of slaves on this date, June 19 1885, came just over 100 years after America declared independence from Britain, in which our nation vowed to ensure that all its citizens were "equally free and independent"! Why did it take so long for slaves to be freed?
And then it took another 135 years before we acknowledged and recognized this SECOND day of Independence for citizens of our country?
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Friday, June 17, 2022
Rescue or Disturbance?
I rescued this mayfly from the water - it seemed as if it had got its wings wet and was unable to fly off.
It looks as if it might be Ephemerella subvaria, also known as the Hendrickson mayfly or red quill. I loved the distinct banding pattern on the abdomen.
Later I wondered if maybe I'd disturbed an egg laying female, not a drowning one. Eek!
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Lots of pine pollen this year, creating a thick yellow skin on the water's surface.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
How did I not know this word before? It seems to be self-explanatory now that I've read about it ...
the study of (or fascination with) the relationship between flowering plants and insects - AKA pollination biology. DUH!
It seems to be what I immerse myself in every day! I guess I could say I'm an amateur anthecologist.
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
One of our most prolific insect-supporting (and hence songbird-supporting) trees: white oak
White oak, Quercus alba
The incredible follow-up to the white oak sustaining so many insects, Prof. Tallamy explains, is that these become the food "for 95% of all our young songbirds." And our bird populations have been declining in North America, to the order of 29% (Birdlife decline) since the 1970's. We're losing tons of breeding individuals. We're talking about a drop in abundance, not individual species, which can ultimately affect the intricate functioning of an ecosystem. That's mind-blowingly scary.
Monday, June 13, 2022
Today marks 2 years since I started my blog, most of it written as a daily post. It's been SO much fun, and has encouraged me to document interesting things and thoughts, with pictures and words. It's provided a purpose to my writing, living and learning.
It's a crazy, mixed bag of plant posts, silly ideas with words, wildlife, politics, photos, poems, some memories, food, cats, ecology and opinions.
It gives me an opportunity to reflect on things about the world around me. And it keeps me writing, and hence thinking, even when there are only a few sentences to share.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
What a neat nest! Perfect papery hexagons, made from plant fibers and wood pulp, aka paper!
This is the work of the native northern paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus) with one egg per cell, as you can see in the photo. The winged adults bring caterpillars to feed their larvae, but the adults consume only liquid nectar.
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Friday, June 10, 2022
Birds and Bees
I just heard a hummingbird's wings above my head as it came to slurp up some nectar!
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Feasting on Meadow Rue
When I saw this beautiful caterpillar on my meadow rue one evening (5/29), I thought it would be pretty easy to identify since it had very distinctive markings and coloration.
And yes, it was easy, using Google lens. It's the Canadian owlet moth, Calyptra canadensis, which feeds almost exclusively on meadow rue!
Suddenly this association caused some sparking in my brain, and I searched for 'caterpillars' in my collection of digital photo albums. And yes, I found that I had photographed this same species on May 27 2021, and posted about it on June 9th (Sitting Quietly). I hadn't remembered the species name, nor the distinctive markings.
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
These dragonfly nymphs have left their old selves behind and begun a new life as a winged insect. They've left the evidence (their exoskeletons)of their eclosion on the cinnamon ferns (Osmunda cinnamomea) near the lake edge.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Look at what I found beneath the leaf litter - nature's internet! The fragile, ethereal, fungal threads have been safely protected beneath the layer of leaves.