September 26, 2016

Activities 2016.09.24

Went on my 2nd Duke Farms Big Tree Hike. It sounds like some of the Duke Farms trees probably should be in the champion tree registry, but a new person had to take over and he's behind in verifying trees.

Posted on September 26, 2016 01:23 AM by jpviolette jpviolette | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Activities 2016.09.18

The NJ Audubon Society had a nature walk at the Butler Road Natural Area in Franklin. It was pretty good; lots of information, though there weren't many photo opportunities.

The trail is just about right for me; nothing truly difficult and quite a bit of greenery even during a drought. But it's apparently open for gun/arrow hunting much of the year (except Sundays), making it more dangerous than I'd like.

Posted on September 26, 2016 01:17 AM by jpviolette jpviolette | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Activities 2016.09.25

Went to the Duke Farms Waterfall Walk program. I'm pretty sure I got pictures of White Snakeroot. I'm less sure if I got Boneset pictures; I think it's past its peak. I saw a Monarch caterpillar and butterfly, and think I saw a Great Spangled Fritillary. I hoped to find some Dogbane; if I saw any, it was virtually dead. Probably going to need to switch to tree (and the occasional bird) identifications as wildflowers and insects will be harder and harder to find.

Posted on September 26, 2016 01:11 AM by jpviolette jpviolette | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 19, 2016

Activities 2016.09.16

Took Friday off and went to Sourland Mountain Preserve. The pond water level was quite low, confirming we need rain. At the pond I saw my first Least Sandpiper. Also saw a Spicebush Swallowtail and a Cabbage White mud-puddling.

Out in the hiking trails, I was surprised to see as many butterflies as I did. I don't know if they were always there at Sourlands and I just wasn't paying attention, or if circumstances and serendipity brought them to my attention this year. I saw the popular Monarchs, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Great Spangled Fritillaries, Cabbage Whites, and Pearl Crescents. I also saw some butterflies that I subsequently identified as Eastern Tailed-Blues, small hairstreak butterflies.

I also spotted a Robberfly. Someone suggested it was a Red-Footed Cannibalfly, which is one of the candidate species I had for Robberflies I had seen elsewhere (maybe Washington Valley Park and Negri Napote Native Grasslands Preserve).

I was also a little surprised to see a raccoon walking in my direction. I'm always a little concerned about rabies when I see a raccoon during the day, and this one concerned me a little because I seemed to spot it before it spotted me. (I usually expect wildlife to be more alert than I am.) Given that it was kind of dark under the tree canopy, and given that it scurried up a tree when I said something, I suspect the raccoon was just doing some extra foraging during daylight.

Posted on September 19, 2016 02:47 PM by jpviolette jpviolette | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 11, 2016

Swallowtail Butterfly Differences

NJ has 4 mostly dark species of Swallowtails, and it's not always easy to tell them apart. I've found this webpage to be useful in figuring them out.

It was also helpful when I was trying to ID what turned out to be a Red-spotted Purple with wing damage; I had thought the swallowtail part of the back wing had been bitten/torn off, only to discover it wasn't a Swallowtail at all.

Posted on September 11, 2016 02:00 AM by jpviolette jpviolette | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Eastern Comma verses Question Mark

One of my observations was identified as a Question Mark, though I was only confident it was either a Question Mark or an Eastern Comma. I found a good webpage describing the difference.

This may come up again, so I'm recording where to find the difference explanation.

Posted on September 11, 2016 01:17 AM by jpviolette jpviolette | 0 comments | Leave a comment


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