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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Autumn has begun!

A mockingbird with persimmons. Click to enlarge.
I'd like to think that if Walt Whitman were here right now, he'd say: 

"Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling, 
 Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard."

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Insects at Work

This week I noticed a lot of insects working. The honeybee above, for instance, is checking for pollen or nectar in a touch-me-not blossom. Click on the photos to enlarge.I also saw a few insects doing less common jobs.
Like this sand wasp digging at the door of its nest. That blur behind the rear legs is sand flying into the air. Adults typically visit the occupied nest to drop off captured prey like flies for developing wasp larvae to eat.
I also saw this yellow jacket scraping fibers off this wooden post. Note how shaggy the wood looks? It seems like such a popular spot for this activity that the wasps have worn it ragged. This wasp flew away when I approached but it or another just like it returned for more. They use wood fibers for nest building and repair. So many interesting insect jobs being performed all around us!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Azure

I was walking on the sandy shore of the Delaware River in South Jersey right across from Philadelphia when I noticed this little butterfly sitting on a shell. The butterfly is the summer azure, Celastrina neglecta. If you click to enlarge you can see its proboscis extended and lying on the shell so I think it is obtaining moisture and perhaps minerals. Butterflies in its family Lycaenidae are well known for a behavior called puddling; gathering in muddy places to drink and obtain minerals from the soil. 
I usually see summer azures on flowers like this, but I guess they sometimes just get an appetite for seafood.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

Have a wonderful holiday. Maybe make like this Zebra at the Cape May County Zoo and put your hooves in the air like you just don't care? Click to enlarge.