Monday, November 2, 2009

Spiders, mushrooms, caterpillars, bees, wasps, groundhogs and other maligned creatures and creepers


Forest tent caterpillars don't create tents, like eastern tent caterpillars do. However, they are "gregarious," meaning, they gather in large groups.
June 6, 2009, Catskills, NY.



Pine Barrens fungus. Out of the yellow sand, this mushroom emerged.
October 30, 2009, Franklin Parker Preserve, Chatsworth, NJ.




An insect visits the last blooms of a heath in late October.
October 30, 2009, Franklin Parker Preserve, Chatsworth, NJ.




An unidentified insect made these exit holes more regular than a Singer sewing machine.
October 30, 2009, Franklin Parker Preserve, Chatsworth, NJ.



Dewy spider web.
July, 29, 2009, Sourlands, NJ



A solitary forest tent caterpillar displays its jewel-like markings.
June 6, 2009, Catskills, NY.



I wondered why so many insects congregated on this single goldenrod. Oh, how interesting, a snail, two flies and a few others. What I saw was a day's catch for a well-hidden spider.
October 2, 2009, Creek Road, Frenchtown, NJ


"I like snakes," she said as she showed me around her yard. We were looking for invasive species. We found a few.

"Most people probably don't."

"I do."

She pointed out the various groundhog holes and deer bedding areas (no longer in use since the neighboring lot began to be developed). Pointing at the multiflora rose, she said, "That, I hate that, but the birds eat it."

"Hmm. Multiflora rose, a non-native, invasivvvv drzzz zzz..." I droned. She had an uncanny ability to point out invasives, "This, this is all over. I hate it. I cut it." Autumn clematis, wineberry, mile-a-minute vine.

I was pleasantly subdued by the grey clouds, her European accent and interest in all animals. I joked lightly about groundhogs in my garden, and she said, "Most people find them a pain." I didn't bother talking about the deer overpopulation. This unruly plot was a home for anyone who might come by, regardless of provenance or status.

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