Saturday, September 30, 2023

Grackle Storm

The chitter turns to 

A clamor as three hundred

Shapes darken the sky.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Fall Serenity

My beautiful lake and its floating islands draw me back over and over again to my favorite spots. 

The light is perfect in September, the boat traffic minimal and the temperatures pleasant. But more spectacular than that even, is the reflective, mirror-like quality of the water.


Thursday, September 28, 2023

Crazy Ducks

Young ducks go crazy

Trying out their wings for flight

Down feathers scatter

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

A is for Acorn

Abundant acorns!

Nature's sharp artillery

Attacks from above

Then, not quite appeased

They accumulate below

Making feet achey

Action is required:

Apprehend the assailants

And arrest them all.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Perfect Luncheon

What could be better than a liverwurst sandwich, water and an orange at this very beautiful, peaceful location?

And all this without spotting invasive naiads!

On the way here I stopped to admire the plants on a magnificent floating island

And was quite taken by these gorgeous cotton-grass heads (I believe they're really sedges)


Monday, September 25, 2023

Curious Human, Curious Turkeys

I stopped my car en route to the grocery store to observe some young turkeys since their wattles were glowing beautifully in the afternoon sunlight. What started off as a distant series of pics, 

turned into a curiosity stand-off
as one after another crossed the road
and began foraging around my car door as I shot close ups
 I was left in a position where they were so close to my car that I could no longer see them and was afraid I'd run them over if I drove off!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Suspended Debris

Pine needles, seed chaff:

Unintentional victims

Of spiderweb gauze.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Sensational Nature

A friend gave me the most amazing book of patterns recently, called Dynamic Form in Nature by David Wade. It just "belongs" in my hands! Here are a few pics to show more of my affinity for patterns in nature.

This might be the type Variegatus, a cop-out of a name

One kind of pattern is called Filices (fernlike formations)

Here are some mosses trying to be fern-like

And this one is called Bruised Apple😀

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Pleated Inkcap

Petite and delicate, this Pleated Ink Cap looks as if it's trying to be an Aster. They appear overnight after rain and disintegrate rapidly. Before the pleats split open, they resemble cocktail umbrellas - they're called Parasola plicatilis.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Leaf Blush

I always think these Indian Cucumber Root (Medeola virginiana) leaves look as if they're blushing about the overtly voluptuous fruit they produce. It's a beautiful understory native.

A flush of crimson

Splashed across the leafy whorl

Beneath the bold fruit

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Larval Stalactites

These critters hanging down as they saw away in unison along Speckled Alder leaf edges are probably Sawfly larvae. It looks as if you can see the munched up green leaves through the skin of some of them! They go through several larval stages and are distinguished from caterpillars (single larval stage only, in moths and butterflies) by having more than 5 pairs of prolegs, and they lack the crochet hook ends to these legs. (Now, will I remember that? I'll try ...)

Monday, September 18, 2023

Free Bird

This very dainty Pine Warbler sat on our window ledge to recover after clonking into one of our windows. And then it flew away, free! So glad it was okay. It was the best way to see it up close. Lucky me!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Chester the Flying Chipmunk

Chester Chipmunk climbed onto the back of his trusty friend, Molly Mallard, just before Hurricane Lee struck Maine. He was leaving his mate and kids behind without so much as a stash of fresh acorns to tide them over, but he was so sick and tired of dealing with waterlogged passageways, bedraggled newborns and fungus growth all over their food supply that he couldn't take it anymore.

He wanted a fresh start without all that baggage and commitment. He'd forgotten to pack his Superman cape for their journey, and Molly was struggling to stay the course against Lee's gusty winds, which met them as they flew south. They were being buffeted about so much that they weren't making much headway, so they decided to fly back to retrieve his cape in the hope that it might give them more lift and steering capabilities. 

Back home though, they discovered that not only had the storm petered out with barely any rain, but that his partner Chichi had bundled their babies up in his cape and moved them away to a more elaborate set of tunnels in the LEE of the bank. She'd etched a note on an acorn shell with her teeth telling him of her decision to move into more luxurious quarters with their neighbor, Chuck. 

Chester's selfish behavior had forced her hand, leaving him forlorn, and lonely. Molly had no time for him in the aftermath either, since she was busy preening and sprucing up her feathers ready for her imminent migration. But luckily for Chester, the homeowners had no physical damage to their property and they hadn't lost power for very long (except for the hour in which they were busy making waffles), so they were still handing out sunflower seeds to the needy. He decided to settle back down in his home territory where free handouts made life easy for him, but he also realized that modern parenting trends, where males were equally involved, was not for him.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Friday, September 15, 2023

Dinner Hunt

Stealth flier glides in

Feet down, wings folded to land

Dinner hunt begins

Thursday, September 14, 2023


On a long survey paddle on which I'd become disheartened at having found Najas minor (invasive European naiad) growing, I was greeted by a fantastic sighting of an Osprey perched on a dead tree above me. I was loathe to chase it off with my fumbling and rummaging about for my camera, so settled for mostly watching it. I was able to get a few shots as I approached and I was thrilled that it did not fly off. 

I paid for my dalliance in having to paddle like an Olympian to get home before a potent convectional thunderstorm struck. One person on the lake wondered if they'd just seen the Northern lights when the lightning came!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Guessing Game

 This pattern caught my eye - isn't it unusual!

Can you guess what it might be?

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Admire the Admiral

These 2 butterflies with different wing patterns are the same species: the blue one in the first photo is the southern version called a red-spotted purple. 

The white banded one in the second pic belongs to the northern population called white admirals (Limenitis arthemis).
This tribe of butterflies hold their forelegs curled up when they land (seen in this photo - that's not its proboscis), and their antennae out straight
We also noticed that their flight was very low to the ground, and occurred in short bursts most of the time, making them very hard to follow around or predict where they might land.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Metallic Berries

The metallic blue of these dogwood berries in the sun drew me to them. They almost looked as if they'd been sprayed with a glossy coating. Oh, and this shrub is called Silky Dogwood, Cornus amomum.

The berries turn white as they mature, and aren't known to be very palatable to humans (a pity, since I like to forage, and these are plentiful)
It can be a very useful aid in preventing excess runoff from properties around lakeshore edges.

PLUS, check out these benefits from Leaves for wildlife:
Host plant for 111 types of caterpillars, including the spring/summer azure butterflies, and io and definite tussock moths. Butterflies nectar at its blooms. Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, quail, turkey, chipmunks, black bear, foxes, white-tailed deer, skunks, and squirrels. The foliage is browsed by white-tailed deer. Members of the genus Cornus support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Gonandrena) fragilis, Andrena (Gonandrena) integra, and Andrena (Gonandrena) platyparia. Its low-growing habit provides important cover and nesting sites.

Saturday, September 9, 2023


Coral in my yard again! Not the ocean type, this is the fungus with a fruiting body that resembles coral. The colorful fruiting body we see is only a very small part of the organism - the rest is an extensive underground network that colonizes nearby plant roots and creates a vast mat through which nutrient exchange occurs. (Maybe it's a little like seeing the hair on our heads, but the inner workings of our brains and neurons are not visible to any of us, yet each part needs the other to function).

Digging up and excavating the forest floor destroys these valuable pathways, affecting much more than just the areas targeted.

Ouch! It's painful to imagine.