September Meadows, 2019

September meadows showcase a lengthy sequence of bloom and the nectaring insects  attracted to the floral display. Goldenrods dominate early, followed by a beautiful palette of asters. This season, monarchs and red admirals were the most common butterfly visitors.

Monarch on goldenrod

Red Admiral on goldenrod

By mid September, the goldenrod bloom begins to fade as flowers go to seed and earth tones replace the golden yellow of fresh blossoms.

Sulphur on the fading bloom of goldenrod

The aster bloom seems to occur overnight, magically, in places where you didn’t even know there were asters. It is a fitting finale to the summer wildflower season and a timely food source for countless insects.

Aster, standing tall in a sea of goldenrod

Monarch approaching an aster to feed

Monarch on aster, with a background of goldenrods

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Dew-covered aster on a chilly September morning

An anglewing on aster

Photos by NB Hunter. © All rights reserved.

Summer’s End

Some memories of late summer, fresh and vivid as ever; memories of fields, forests, streams … and precious friends along the way.

An Anglewing butterfly, Eastern Comma, on Panicled Aster

Eastern Chipmunk perched high up in a wild apple tree

Wild apples; a bumper crop with limbs bending, and sometimes breaking, under the load

Perching dragonfly (Meadowhawk), highlighted by a background of New England Aster blossoms

Thistle in a slight breeze

Monarch butterfly visiting New England Aster

A mountain stream, dead for decades from coal mine acid pollution, now with a heart beat due to massive, long-term clean-up efforts.

Cow elk, part of a family group of 4 (excluding the rutting, 7 x 7 heard bull that is keeping an eye on them); Pennsylvania’s wild elk herd.

“Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”   – Pope Francis

“Pennsylvania Wilds”

Ralph Harrison 1928-2015: forester, conservationist, forest historian; the father of the Pennsylvania elk herd; a friend and mentor for 43 years. ……………..   In loving memory.

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Meadow Macros

Flower Spider (Goldenrod Spider, Red-spotted Crab Spider) on Knapweed

Sulphur on Chicory

Red-tailed Bumble Bee on Goldenrod

Wood Nymph on Knapweed

Jewelweed (Touch-me-not)

Sulphur on Goldenrod

Cucumber Beetle on Aster

Viceroy on Goldenrod

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

A Close Look at Early Fall

Good weather and daily trail walks in a quiet natural area give me the opportunity to capture unusual images of ordinary things.

These photos from last week must be shared:

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The fruit of Cranberrybush Viburnum; these will persist into the winter

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A maple leaf suspended in mid-air by a strand of spider web; a challenging subject, as it was swaying and spinning in a slight breeze and the background was constantly changing.

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A bee on Aster

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Red-panicle Dogwood ( also called Gray-stemmed or Gray Dogwood)

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Slug feeding on a puffball

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

A Morning Ramble

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Aster (Panicled)

We’ve had several days of nice weather and I decided that a mid-morning walk should be priority number one. I failed to get a picture of Catbirds feeding on the berry-like fruits of viburnums, dogwoods and Multiflora Rose, but came away with a few shots worth sharing.

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Mature doe feeding on wild apples; her two fawns are nearby

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One of the doe’s fawns; has just spotted me

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Not satisfied with the visual, it’s trying to pick up my scent

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I’m close, but downwind, which requires a pretty serious evaluation with the olfactory senses

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Leaf of Red-osier Dogwood

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.