Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pearl Crescents at Barber Reservation

I spent my lunch hour in Sherborn at Barber Reservation, staying in the meadows.  The small white flowering aster was attracting a lot of pollinators, and I easily saw over 20 Pearl Crescents, 2 Cabbage Whites, 4 Clouded Sulphurs and 2 Eastern Tailed Blues.

Crane Fly

Pearl Crescent

Pearl Crescents

Eastern Tailed Blue


a Trifecta
Bumblebee, Bronzed Cutworm Moth, and Pearl Crescent

There is a lot of competition for the few nectar sources that remain this late in the summer!

Eastern Bluebird

Yellow-Throated Vireo (I think)

After work, Freddie and I took a walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.

Blue Jay

Red-Tailed Hawk (juvenile)

The blue jays were dive-bombing this hawk.  Even though it looks well-camouflaged, he wasn't fooling them for a second.  He didn't stay here long and soon flew to the top of a nearby telephone pole.

confusing fall warbler (again!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Killdeer at Hopkinton State Park

I drove through HSP on my lunch break today.  It wasn't a very good choice.  First, the Hopkinton Fire Department was doing water rescue practice near the boat rental building.  At the lower beach, a huge industrial sized brush trimmer/mower was working its way around the back side of the water.  I was amazed to find 4 birds pecking their way along the shore with that big mower closing in behind them.  Three were Killdeer and one was a Solitary Sandpiper.

I was also pleased to find a huge patch of Nodding Ladies Tresses, although the mower was headed their way as well.  Who knows what will remain in the wake of that mower?

 Nodding Ladies Tresses


Something about this bird makes it look like it is nervous or worried.

Sometimes I wish there was not such a compulsion to mow everything down....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Solitary Sandpiper at BHCL

I took my lunchtime hike at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land today.  I had an excellent look at a Solitary Sandpiper in the pond behind the wetlands area.

He pulled something out of the mud!  Lunch!

Besides the sandpiper, I also saw the following:

There's food in Mother Nature's pantry!

I often find an interesting phenomenon and that is a very "birdy" tree.  This birch tree was the birdy tree today.  It contained a Northern Flicker, Eastern Bluebirds (at least 4), a Red-Bellied Woodpecker and a House Finch.  What is it that brings them all to a single location?  Oh, how I'd like to know their secrets!

 Northern Flicker and Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

 Red-Bellied Woodpecker

 House Finch

 Eastern Phoebe

Bee Fly (Villa hypomelas)

 Eastern Tailed Blue

Milkweed Pod going to seed

Large Milkweed Bugs and Nymphs

 Pearl Crescent

Purple-Stemmed Asters

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Hike at Garden in the Woods

I took an afternoon walk at Garden in the Woods.  There weren't a lot of wings....more mushrooms and fungi than anything else.

Meadow Bottle Gentian
(How does this flower get pollinated?  The answer is in the following video.)


Common Spreadwing

Elm Sawfly


I hadn't been to Garden in the Woods in a long time.  The meadow is being re-done, so there is nothing growing there.  It used to be a great place for finding butterflies.  This visit, another sight shocked me.  The old white pine tree near the meadow was gone!

another Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Aphid-covered milkweed

Beech Drops

Beech Drops is a parasitic plant that grows on the roots of beech trees.  It has no leaves or chlorophyll.  It has small pinkish flowers that don't really show up that well in an otherwise colorless plant.  

I saw my first coral fungi this morning at Beals Preserve.  Imagine my surprise to find lots of it throughout the woods at Garden in the Woods!

A few other pretty fungi: