Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Nature's Merry Maids

It was another beautiful day with sunshine, blue sky and cool breezes.  I walked a little along the Sudbury Reservoir Trail this morning, staying only where it's well mowed.  I am still a bit freaked out by ticks at the moment!


 Chimney Swift
(as birders say, a "flying cigar"

 American Goldfinch
(doing his best impression of a Christmas tree star)

 Yellow Warbler

singing his heart out

House Wren

 White Lilacs in the morning sunshine

 Eastern Kingbird

Common Grackle

I should mention that my local Wood Thrush started singing at 4:20AM this morning (at least that's when I first was awake enough to squint at the clock).  Wow.  He is certainly an early riser.  I did catch a glimpse of him near the brook just before work!

Wood Thrush

I walked the Sherborn Power Line trail at lunch, looking for butterflies.  A horseback rider came down the trail from the opposite direction, and soon after, I came upon some fresh horse manure.  I checked it for butterflies (some are attracted to manure for minerals), but found none.  I did find some Rainbow Scarab Dung Beetles, though.  They are shiny and bright green and were quickly crawling under the horse dung.  By the time I had ended my hike and was backtracking to the car, these beetles were rolling the horse manure across the path to some unknown destination.  Impressive strength!  I bet if I were to go back to this spot on the trail now, the horse manure would be gone.

Rainbow Scarab

Rolling the Manure off the Trail

These beetles reminded me of another set of beetles that I saw last weekend on my hike at Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary.  It looked like there was dog poop on the trail, and I checked it for butterflies and found none.  On my way out of the sanctuary, I looked at it again, and took a photo of American Carrion Beetles moving in.  Now that I look at the photo, it doesn't really look like dog poop either.  Yet another clean up crew trained by Mother Nature!  Not even waste goes to waste.

American Carrion Beetles

Gray Hairstreak

American Copper

I saw at least a dozen American Coppers on this hike.  They look so much brighter in the spring than later in the season.  Really pretty!   

Tiger Beetle

Prairie Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Juvenal's Duskywing

Velvet Ant

This ant was near the guardrail by the road where I parked.  When I see a red ant, I think trouble.  Sure enough, later, when I read up on it,  there were warnings against touching the female of this species because it has a painful sting.  It is closer to a wingless wasp than an ant.

Back at home, baby Chickadees can be heard lightly squeaking in the birdhouse.  Papa was bringing little green caterpillars to the nest.

Tonight I only had about 45 minutes before sunset, so I drove over to Hopkinton State Park.  The Canada geese and goslings were near the boat docks again, so I enjoyed watching them.

There were a couple Common Yellowthroats in the trees along the water's edge, and they were feeding on little green caterpillars.

All in all, another great day.  I hope I get to sleep a little later tomorow!

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