Sunday, August 26, 2018

End of August

I've heard people say that August is the Sunday of summer. 
Here's to the last Sunday of August 2018 and summer's end!
I've posted below a few favorite photos from my August blogs of years past. 

A great Egret coming in for a landing, trailing toes. Click to enlarge.

A monarch butterfly. 

Rolling hills of Northern New Jersey in August. 

A laughing gull line up. 
Honey bee drinking a drop of water from a leaf. 
A carpenter bee on milkweed flowers. 
A bullfrog keeping an eye on me.
Snow geese overhead. 
A bumblebee at work. 
A great black wasp. 
A summer azure butterfly with striped antennae.
A deer watching me watch him. 
A baby northern cardinal with punk hairdo. 
An elegant monarch butterfly caterpillar climbing upward. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Watermelon for Butterflies

Want to know what we have in common with a red-spotted purple butterfly? 
We love watermelon! 
I was walking in a field at a small farm in New Jersey and came across a broken watermelon that was being feasted on by three red-spotted purple butterflies. 
Lots of kinds of butterflies like overripe fruit and would love to dip their long curly tongues into your leftover watermelon rinds to drink the sweet juices. The same goes for your cantaloupe rinds, overripe peaches, and whatever other fruit waste you are about to throw away. Just put the fruit in a shallow dish with water, if you want to discourage ants, or no water if you like ants. The dish will make it easier to pick it up later to discard. Place the dish near cover and you are likely to attract a variety of lovely butterflies like the red-spotted purple, monarch, painted lady, and more. Click to enlarge.  
Yay! Summer! 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Appreciating August

A ripe watermelon in the field. 

"If it could only be like this always -- always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper..." 

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dog Day Cicadas

Dog day cicadas like the Neotibicen tibicen pictured above are chirping outside right now and have been at it for a few weeks. They are named for the dog days of summer when they appear. The dog days, traditionally early July to early August, are called that because the dog star, Sirius, appears in the predawn sky at that time. And the dog star is called that for being the brightest star we see in the constellation Canis Major -- the great dog. Click to enlarge. 

Here is my favorite cicada haiku. It's by Matsuo Basho

"The cry of the cicada
Gives us no sign
That presently it will die." 

Click here to read a previous blog about the lives of dog day cicadas.