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Ongoing projects

Posts tagged ‘nature’

Miscellaneous wildlife from the garden

This snake surprised me, at first I thought it was a branch stuck in my boxwood, but no….. It stayed quite still while I tried to find a decent angle. I wish I could have gotten closer.

This is a Northern Harrier, not a Redtail. The field marking is a white patch at the base of its tail, that is easily visible when it flys away from you. It had some very successful hunting in our fields after we mowed, spending the better part of the day for about a week. It was very blaise about our presence and several times flew low and slow enough for Havoc to give chase.

A fuzzy picture of one of our House Wrens. The first nest of the season was in the upper skull (we watched six fledglings leave the nest) and the later nest was in this skull. I don’t know how many fledged from this attempt, they did so in private.


Mid summer landscapes, now that it’s fall…..

In past summers this field was cut for hay before it bloomed.


The allee beside the field.

You can just barely see the Gunks behind the trees.

The birds and the insects made good use of this field. Makes you wish we mowed less. All the short green grass looks good, but it doesn’t do much for the ecosystem.

Garden Critters

I didn’t have as many frogs this summer, but I still had an amusing assortment of critters in the garden.

One of my few frogs.

The ever present gold fish.

The caterpillar of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly, they are fond of Queens Anne’s Lace, Carrots and Parsley. It’s worth planting extra to help keep them feed.

Spiderwebs are very tricky to photograph.

There was a flock of sparrows that showed up at more or less the same time every day.

Last Look at Autumn…..part two

The first picture on the previous post was taken on October 18, easily three weeks after the trees had started changing. I really should keep track, even if only to satisfy my own curiosity. The photo below was taken on the 29 when the Maples finally really started to change.

This one was taken on November 2 different tree, different parking lot, but I’m fairly certain they are the same variety.

And yet another red tree in yet another parking lot. I think this may be the tree of choice for parking lots, though ‘October Glory’ gets a lot of use as well.

Having never mastered the traditional foliage shot, I lack both the patience and the proper equipment, I think I might instead document parking lot trees…….

My best guess is that these trees are ‘Autumn Blaze’ an absurdly popular landscaping Maple. What’s a little creepy is they are probably propagated by stem cuttings, which means they are clones, which means that it’s the same tree watching over us in all those parking lots …..a deciduous NSA ( I’ve been listening to too much public radio, I really hope it stops snowing soon).

Last Look at Autumn

Every year I take a stab at photographing autumn foliage with limited success. This fall was particularly interesting, not for the photographs, but for the succession of color change. Normally we have a hard freeze or two that gets the maples really going are the reds and oranges rip through the woods. The cold snap also drops the leaves on a lot of our trees, typically trees like Catalpas go a sickly yellow and fall right off, the Beeches go paper brown, the Birch and Ginkgoes go yellow and drop quickly. This year we got a couple of cold nights, but no hard freeze just a long steady period of cool leading to a very yellow autumn.

This is the view from my office window which most falls is bland at best, this year I had these lovely yellows for well over a month.

For quite a while the only strong red was the Sumacs.

The Maples starting to consider turning.

A stand of Beech showing a nice yellow instead of the bland brown we usually get. Two days after I took this we had a hard frost and they lost all their color. But we had had at least a month of these subtle yellows that I really enjoyed though I think a lot of people were disappointed until the Maples exploded.