Saturday, October 15, 2016

Caught Cicada

This banded argiope, one of the common orbweavers has got super lucky; it has caught a cicada in its net. The poor cicada was still struggling when I noticed it.

I took this photo in September but the quality is disappointing. My camera bit the dust earlier in the summer and the camera on my phone just isn't up to snuff.

Friday, September 9, 2016


His sisters were busy biting me as this little male mosquito only had eyes for the goldenrod flowers.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Black Locust

Here is the black locust I transplanted last year. It is growing strongly and is now about 4 feet tall.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Trembling Aspen

The purple line is to the right of a young 8 trembling aspen sapling that got its chance here on the north side of the berm when they stopped cutting the grass in 2009. The purple line goes from the ground up to a branch that was at my shoulder level (5ft). The yellow line is as high as the sapling and is over 6 times as long as the purple line indicating the sapling is a little over 30ft tall. The trunk has a circumference of 12 inches. Not bad for 8 years of growth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Spring 2016 Updates

Invasive Honeysuckles

The Trilliums did well this spring with 11 flowers. I'm not sure I could say that any new plants have developed but the existing plants are larger and more vigorous than previous years. I visited the trilliums in Ben Franklin wood as well this spring and they are doing ok. There are more red trilliums in the woods than I remember seeing before.

There doesn't seem to be very much field mice damage to the trees this spring compared to previous years. A few trees that had been girdled the previous winter but had still leafed out last year didn't come back this spring but I don't notice any damage that I can say for sure occurred this winter.

The white pines took a hard knock on their inventory of older needles over winter. Some of them look quite sparse except for the buds growing with the current year's needles.

The patch of dog strangling vine (at the end of Newhaven) I hand removed last year has come back strong. I have already removed 200+ stalks of dog strangling vine from the patch this spring.

Most but not all ash trees on the berm have been killed by the emerald ash borer. There are a few smaller trees that haven't been attacked yet and the smaller seedlings are growing especially on the north side of the berm.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Being Watched by Song Sparrows.

This little song sparrow is keeping quiet as she sits on her nest in the long grass just a few steps from a path. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, the previous day I was surprised by her rising from immediately below my feet. Fortunately I didn't step on her nest with four small eggs in it so the next day I came back and took her photograph. A couple of days later when I passed by there was at least one baby chick in the nest, but I just caught a glimpse as I didn't want to unnecessarily perturb the mom. I don't know what happened to the chicks but a week later the nest is empty except for a broken shell.

Below is another song sparrow (or perhaps the same one with a new nest) keeping a watchful eye as I pass in the vicinity of her nest. Hopefully, it is well hidden. She and her mate keep a continuous chirp going as long as I am in sight but it is so brief it is hard to pin point which direction the chirp is coming from.