Saturday, August 31, 2013

On the Basswood

Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea)

These pretty red and green plant bugs are only about 5mm long so they often go unnoticed even though they aren't terribly shy or uncommon.

Jagged-Ambush Bug (Genus Phymata)

I wish all my insect pictures were in focus like this. Jagged ambush bugs are cooperative subjects.

Japanese Beetle(Popillia japonica)

I didn't notice this guy had some friends with him when I took the picture

Banded Argiope(Argiope trifasciata)

There are very few orb-weaver spiders about. A couple of seasons ago the tall grass was full of them; this is only the second I've noticed this August. I wonder what has changed, or if it just goes in cycles.

I find the structure of this spider's web quite interesting; not only does it have the zig-zagged stabilimentum below it like the black-and-yellow garden spider, it also covers the central area of the web in a very fine, almost transparent, film of silk.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sand Cherries

There were about a dozen sand cherry bushes planted in 2009. They are poorly chosen for the location as Sand Cherries prefer a sandy or rocky location. They suffer from browsing on by the meadow voles and because they are a low bush, they have a hard time competing against the grasses and vetches. the plants have survived but have not prospered. This is the first year with a significant berry crop. The berries are actually not that bad; they are juicy and sweet, although a bit tart. There are recipes on-line for sand cherry jelly.

The Japanese beetles are pretty bad this year. They particularly like to attack basswood and grape vines where they skeletonize the leaves. The above picture is the first time I've noticed them attacking sand cherries.

On the Wild Carrot

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus)

Jagged Ambush Bug (Genus Phymata)

Clouded Plant Bug (Neurocolpus nubilus)

Greenbottle Fly (Genus Lucilia)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Song sparrow on the sumac

This song sparrow was keeping an eye on me and calling out to his mate as I was walking along past this clump of sumac yesterday. His mate was answering but I couldn't locate her.

This has been a very good year for the trees with plenty of rain. A couple of sumacs in the 2009 area are sending out root suckers that can shoot up six feet while your back is turned. This clump the sparrow is sitting on is threatening to overwhelm a basswood and a couple of small spruce trees. It gives a hint of what the area will be like in a couple of years when the trees fill in the canopy. A couple of maple trees planted in 2009 have branches touching but for the most part it is the poplar and sumac suckers that are filling in the gaps.

White Admiral

White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis)

I haven't seen too many large butterflies this year. I haven't seen one Monarch. Lately though, I've noticed a few White Admirals like this one which is warming itself on a lilac leaf.