looking for a good picture of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).
Until I get it, I'll settle for quantity over quality - as the following
series of four photos shows a heron with a large fish it had just
caught. No fish story, this fish was easily 7 inches long.
spend a lot of time grooming. First one wing...
then the other.
August 10th, a Common Egret (Casmerodius albus) began appearing
in Raymond Brook Marsh. It may be common now, but a century ago it
was driven to the brink of extinction by feather hunters who gathered
the showy white plumes (after killing the birds) to supply the fashion
in women's hats. The yellow beak and dark legs distinguish this egret
from other similar species.
not the greatest of photos - but they'll have to do until I find a
bird closer or start carrying a tripod to steady my long telephoto
Swallows (Hirundo rustica) are best seen in early evening when
they swoop across the marsh hunting insects.
swallow appears to be showing off a stunt for an appreciative audience.
18th dawned hot and humid - with low hazy clouds almost obscuring
or Common Reed grass (Phragmites australis) is well over six
Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus).
(Oenothera biennis). Flowers open towards evening and
wilt the next morning.
a decent picture of Jewelweed, or Spotted Touch-me-not
got to try this! Touch a mature Touch-me-not seedpod like the ones
pictured below and find out how the plant earned its common name.
Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) with its inconspicuous green
flowers is the prime cause of "hay fever" - not the maligned
(Solidago sp.) that blooms at the same time.
yet to see a Monarch butterfly this year - presumably because of the
destruction of overwintering populations in Mexico. Viceroy butterflies
(Limenitis archippus), like the one pictured on Ironweed below,
mimic Monarchs - thus gaining a measure of protection from predators.
Monarchs, as you probably know, are distasteful if not downright poisonous
- the result of the caterpillars feeding on alkyloid-laden milkweed.
Birds soon learn to avoid them. Viceroys are similar enough in appearance
to be avoided by birds too.
are considerably smaller than Monarchs, and have a narrow black stripe
on the hindwings that is absent in Monarchs.
Fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite).
Moth (Orgyia definita, Family Lymantriidae) caterpillar. The
characteristic four tufts of hairs on its back remind me of a toothbrush.