These incredibly complex-looking flowers are a big draw for hummingbirds, but I can't get them in a still shot, no matter how long I wait in the dense vegetation, ticks and mosquitoes. The birds hover and check me out, but are so fleeting in their nectaring that I can't focus quickly enough. So I present instead, flowers, since they stay still for me!
Monday, July 31, 2023
Sunday, July 30, 2023
... cherries! I think that that collective noun fits cherries better than crows! As I pitted them, even my face got splashed with red, bloody-looking droplets.
Saturday, July 29, 2023
When I saw these bright colors in my yard, I immediately thought of Xmas holly!
Those brightly colored blisters belong to the oak leaf gall midge - Polystepha pilulae, a long legged mosquito-like fly. The midge larvae develop within the leaves until it's time to hatch. The galls for this species are always made on the top surface of oak leaves.
Friday, July 28, 2023
This is the view of the Presumpscot River from the Westbrook River Walk terrace. Lots of churning going on
The Saccarappa Falls and Blacks Bridge are visible upstream, where the town has constructed an environmentally sound fish passage. Yay, Westbrook!
Thursday, July 27, 2023
This is Lucidota atra, known as both the black firefly and the woodland lucy - its exquisite antennae are striking (all the better to detect female pheromones, my dear!). This species is diurnal.
I found the common eastern firefly, Photinus pyralis, at my kitchen sink, so released it outside after it sat fleetingly for a quick portrait. Both are native to the northeastern U.S.
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
What do you think this could be?
I saw these fascinating patterns in the pollen residue on the front surface of a stainless steel grill. It looked as if light rain or dew had dripped slowly down the surface, but the etched-looking markings made us think differently.
Monday, July 24, 2023
Sunday, July 23, 2023
These white, woolly-looking rocket ships with fluffy boosters are planthopper larvae. I found them on my Virginia creeper after another period of rain and swampy, humid conditions.
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Friday, July 21, 2023
This exquisitely beautiful and sunny common bladderwort has the unfortunate scientific name of Utricularia vulgaris. Vulgar it is not, but the reference is to its common-ness.
Thursday, July 20, 2023
I wanted to get a pic of this blister beetle on my milkweed plant, and noticed afterwards that there were AT LEAST 11 insects busy on it at the same time! Phenomenal and impressive!
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Monday, July 17, 2023
Apparently the male clasps the female on his back so his appendage can curl up and into her ovipositor for fertilization.
Their elongated mouthparts enable them to feed on fresh decaying plant and animal matter. Forensic entomologists know that if scorpionflies are present on a cadaver, it's still relatively fresh, 1-2 days old.
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Friday, July 14, 2023
We were recently graced with the presence of 2 squirrels on our deck at the same time, albeit full of noisy chattering and posturing in between chasing chipmunks. This young one got really close to me, allowing me to wallow in her perfection.
Look at this exquisitely magnificent, gorgeous tail
Thursday, July 13, 2023
We've all heard of Tiger Moms and also Spiderman, but this is a whole new scenario ... may I present Spider Mom:
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
This delightful little native, Mitchella repens, an easily overlooked evergreen groundcover in North American forests, goes by the common names patridgeberry or twinberry.
It produces teeny little flowers that occur in pairs from a shared calyx. They start off as little pink buds:
The flowers become white as they mature and open (only about ½" long). They have a perfect way to prevent self fertilization - one of the flowers has a long pistil and short stamens, and the other has the opposite arrangement: a short pistil and long stamens. It's quite difficult to see clearly when the flower is all white, as in this capture, but if you look closely, a long pistil is visible on the left hand bloom, but not on the other.