Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lunchtime Walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land

Here are some of today's sights around BHCL:

Red-Tailed Hawk (juvenile)

Warbling Vireo

Pearl Crescent

Gray Hairstreak #1

Gray Hairstreak #2

Gray Hairstreak #3

Black Swallowtail

Great Spangled Fritillary

I also watched a noisy juvenile Blue Jay flying around with one of its parents.  Here is the full list of butterflies I saw during my lunch hour walk (and I was walking slowly to try to favor my back):
  1. Black Swallowtail
  2. Cabbage White
  3. Clouded Sulphur
  4. Common Ringlet
  5. Common Sootywing
  6. Common Wood Nymph
  7. Eastern Tailed Blue
  8. Gray Hairstreak
  9. Great Spangled Fritillary
  10. Little Glassywing
  11. Little Wood Satyr
  12. Monarch
  13. Orange Sulphur
  14. Pearl Crescent
  15. Silver-Spotted Skipper
I should mention that the skies above the meadows are very busy with Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows and Chimney Swifts.  Sometimes they appear to fly right up to each other and exchange a greeting before they continue swooping over the grasses.  They are a real challenge to photograph.  Too fast!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monarch at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land

Still few and far between, any monarch sightings in summer 2014 are a thrill.  Today I saw what I think was my third sighting, but the first that stayed still long enough for photographic proof.

Sometimes I find that avoiding the temptation to use full zoom results in a prettier picture, especially when a lot of flowers are involved!  I am practicing using manual focus, and either I need new glasses (yes, I do) or more practice (yes, I do!).  Please be patient while I hone this skill!

Pearl Crescent on fleabane

and zoom!

one more....

Eastern Kingbird

Halloween Pennant


Eastern Amberwing


Silver-Spotted Skipper

Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Great Spangled Fritillary

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Afternoon at Mass Horticultural Society

The sun came out and seemed like it was going to stay for awhile, so I headed over to Wellesley to visit the gardens at Elm Bank.  I really enjoyed the colors of the flower gardens, particularly the echinacea and the daylilies!  Having a few gorgeous butterflies and a hummingbird in the midst didn't hurt either!

Echinacea Colorburst

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth


One row in the test gardens

in the children's garden

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Aphrodite Fritillary 


 Black Swallowtail (female)


Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at bee balm


 The Goddess Garden

 Red Fox on the road home

Sunday Morning at BHCL

The weather was blah this morning; spitting rain, colorless sky.  I had a headache to boot and didn't feel very motivated to go walking, but I hoped I might feel better if I did.  Oh, and my lower back was tweaking a bit.  Not a good morning, all in all!  So, off I went to explore BHCL.

I took the trail towards the Community Gardens in order to avoid the hill, trying to go easy on myself.

Common Sootywing

Garter Snake in wetland area


Some of the chicory is pink, but most of it is blue.  I read on line that the color is dependent upon the acidity of the soil (sounds like hydrangea), but these are right next to each other....


Helleborine orchid


Eastern Comma

Horace's Duskywing

House Wren (one of six that were between two trees in the back meadow)

It was probably a young family of House Wrens.  Two were rattling a warning at me.  The others were flitting from branch to branch.

Black Swallowtail

Eastern Tailed Blue

Crab Spider

Pearl Crescent

Love the ones with more pink tones to them!

Red Admiral

This Red Admiral was puddling in the mud of the parking lot, but it flew off as I approached.  Luckily, I spotted it again in the shrubs to the right of the bridge.