Garden Watch

Top Photo: Goldenrod in bloom at Wander Away. Visiting a garden at this time of year can be very rewarding. Goldenrod likes to wait until September or later to bloom, and like boneset mentioned in the previous post, has tiny blossoms which attract big crowds. Butterflies, bees and wasps are too busy sucking up nectar to pay much attention to naturalists who stare at them while they refuel. If you’re patient, and you’re taking pictures, you may end up withRead more

Wolf Spider

I usually see wolf spiders on the ground, this small wolf (about 3/8″ from head to tip of abdomen) was crawling about on goldenrod next to the Wetlands, sending silk airborne to be caught up somewhere, and presumably anchored there. The silk never made it very far. It kept getting caught up on people as they walked by on the path. Any comments as to species, or exactly what this spider was doing?Read more

Pearl Crescent and others

In this past week of crisp cool weather, I found many butterflies of many different species. Here are just a handful. Pearl Crescent I’m sometimes asked why this butterfly is named Pearl Crescent. You have to see the underside of the hindwing to get the answer to that question, and this butterfly often pumps its wings up and down while perched, making it difficult to see the underwing. Persistence will get you a glimpse at a small whitish crescent on theRead more

Waning Moon, Yellow Flowers, Borers, a Mantid, and a Slantface

The last five days of September were mostly days full of rain. The 28th, however, was clear, cool and dry. With a waning gibbous moon hanging low in the sky at the start of the day, it turned into perhaps the most comfortable day since sometime in May. Crownbeard and goldenrod are in bloom. Where there is goldenrod, there are insects. Locust Borers (Megacyllene robiniae) can often be found on goldenrod, especially near stands of Black Locust. In the fall, the adultRead more

Late Summer Flowers

In bloom in August were Boneset, Partridge Pea, and Goldenrod. The flowers of Boneset and Goldenrod are great places to look for insects as they search for nectar sources at this time of year. The Partridge Pea should be watched for Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillars during the next several weeks (September). There’s still a few Butterfly Weeds in bloom in Catch the Wind; check it for hairstreaks and other butterflies. Silky Dogwood (Cornus), which, at the beginning of this period, had deep blue berries among itsRead more

Locust Borer and Late Butterflies

Although mentioned in the last installment of the Explore the Wild Journal, a picture of a Two-lined Spittlebug was not displayed. More spittlebugs have been showing up and I was able to get a nice shot of one (image at right). There was a Locust Borer on the Goldenrod alongside the Wetlands (photo at left). Although I’ve seen Locust Borers on other flowers, Goldenrod is a good place to look for them. They blend in very well with the flowersRead more

Fall Takes Over

The Wetlands is changing rapidly. The vista with its brilliant autumn light bouncing off the colorful leaves and reflecting in the water is perhaps at its best in the fall. It’s worth a visit just for the view, and there’s still more to come! Besides the still blooming Goldenrod, Groundsel Tree (a shrub) and Heath Aster are blooming. Groundsel Tree (see Groundsel Tree, Explore the Wild Journal, September 1-15, 2008) has been attracting many bees, wasps, and other insects toRead more

Two Late Bloomers

Morning Glory is blooming at the small Wetlands Overlook near the Lemur House, and Goldenrod is in bloom at various locations around the Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind Loop. There should be more Goldenrod flowers as the season progresses. Goldenrod attracts many insects to its tiny, clustered flowers.Read more

Pretty Flowers or Weeds

Boneset is blooming at various locations around the Wetlands. The flowers should be fairly easy to locate. Look for clusters of small white flowers atop a straight 2-4 foot plant growing close to the water. The leaves of the plant are opposite. The bases of the leaves are joined at the stem of the plant, surrounding the stem (perfoliate) – an interesting configuration. Boneset is also called Thoroughwort, Fever-weed, and Sweating Plant. Besides some lingering Black-eyed Susan, Coreopsis, and QueenRead more