Summertime Sightings

With the summer just about gone (for me, fall starts around mid August), I thought I’d give you a pictorial update on some of what’s being seen on our 84 acre campus here at the Museum.

Last month I mentioned that there were again woolly aphids enjoying the sap of one of our alders in the Wetlands in Explore the Wild. The colonies are growing considerably and many bees and wasps are visiting the sight, including bald-faced hornets. The visitants are there to lap up the aphid’s sap-sucking byproduct, honeydew, which drips down onto the leaves and stems below the colonies.

Bald-faced hornet gleans sweets from an alder leaf. Named for white (bald) markings on the face). Note the aphid colony and ants above the hornet.
Bald-faced hornet gleans sweets from an alder leaf. Named for white (bald) markings on the face (inset). Note the aphid colony and ants above the hornet.

Cicadas are in full song. With cicadas come cicada killers, another wasp species.

This cicada killer stakes a claim on a boulder near a potential nesting site.
This cicada killer stakes a claim on a boulder near a potential nesting site.
On the same alder as the hornet above, what looks like an anglewing katydid hides in plain sight.
On the same alder as the hornet above, what looks to be an anglewing katydid hides in plain sight.
A gray hairstreak sucks nectar from joe-pye-weed.
A gray hairstreak sucks nectar from Joe-pye-weed.
A juniper hairstreak also enjoys the nectar Joe pye weed's offerings.
A juniper hairstreak also enjoys Joe pye weed’s offerings.
Named for the "frosty" area on its hindwings, the hoary edge samples the most popular nectar source in town, Joe pye weed.
Named for the “frosty” area on its hindwings, this hoary edge samples the most popular nectar source in town, Joe pye weed.
What looks like a wild indigo duskywing soaks up the sunshine.
What looks like a wild indigo duskywing soaks up the sunshine. 
These two duskywings (not sure what species) attempt to create more duskywings.
These two duskywings (not sure what species) attempt to create more duskywings.
Look what showed up on dwarf sumac down at the Wetlands, a juvenile gray tree frog.
Look what showed up on dwarf sumac down at the Wetlands, a juvenile gray tree frog.

We had an attempt at nesting by two pair of green herons this summer. Both nests were victims of predators. At least one pair of the herons did manage to nest successfully somewhere close by, perhaps even in our own Wetlands, out of view on the far side of the wetland.

An immature green heron searches for a good fishing spot.
An immature green heron searches for a good fishing spot.
After closing time, the resident great blue heron comes out enjoys view from the boardwalk's railing
After closing time, the resident great blue heron comes out to enjoy the view from the boardwalk’s railing.
The heron didn't stay long after I entered the picture.
The heron didn’t stay long, after I entered the picture.

Finally, a bit of flora.

Boneset, said to help in the healing of broken bones, blooms at the water's edge in the Wetlands.
Boneset, said to help in the healing of broken bones, blooms at the water’s edge in the Wetlands.

Each one of the above photos has its own story to tell. And, they are but a small sampling of what you might see on a walk around the outdoor areas of the Museum. So, put on your walking shoes and head on out to the Wild to see what you can discover!

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