August Colors and Details

WoodFrog20Aug17#2207E2c5x7

Sub-adult Wood Frog out and about on a rainy day

Fawn7Aug17#1487E2c5x7

White-tail fawn foraging in cultivated fields

TouchMeNot14Aug17#1969E5c5x7

Bumblebee feasting on Touch-me-not (Jewelweed)

Teasel12Aug17#1861E2c8x10

Teasel at ground level, the 6-foot stalk flattened by flood waters 

 

HumbirdMoth10Aug17#1766E7c5x7

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on Phlox (1 of 2)

HumbirdMoth9Aug17#1584E5c8x10

FrogID16Aug17#2087E5c5x7

Small pool of spring water that has quenched the thirst of 3 dogs during 30 years of trail walking

WhiteAdmiral17Aug17#2191E5c8x10

White Admiral, wings upright and showing its true colors

Photos by NB Hunter (August, 2017). © All Rights Reserved.

Asters and Goldenrods

Leaves falling, geese honking overhead, frost in the air, deer hunting season around the corner; time for one last colorful meadow story before moving on and embracing autumn.

The aster bloom, a wonderful palette of white, blue, lavender and purple, follows the goldenrod bloom, with just enough overlap to create a memorable finale to the wildflower season…..

The September bloom, brilliant when the sun is just right, frames idle nest boxes,

astersgoldenrods19sept165391e2c8x10

Fuels late season butterflies,

comma5sept164775e3c8x10

A “Comma”, one of the anglewing group of butterflies

Hides a fawn,

fawn25sept165616e2c8x10

And its alert mother as well!

doe25sept165619e3c8x10_edited-1

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Young White-tails

The “resident” deer on my property include a mature doe and her two fawns. I bump into them about once a week, usually when working in the woods or walking my dog. They’re unpredictable, especially when I’m on foot: sometimes they scoot off into a thicket, sometimes they hold their position and wait for me to pass. On this occasion, I was on an off-road vehicle, hauling a utility trailer loaded with crushed stone for trail improvement and erosion control. The fawn was browsing trail-side, oblivious to the noisy putter and approaching vehicle. I happened to have the camera around my neck and, when I shut the machine off, the fawn’s curiosity gave me a nice photo op. This young white-tail is about seven weeks old.

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Autumn Snow!

We had our first real snowfall of the year yesterday, a couple of inches of wet, heavy stuff. This post is dedicated to all of my friends who have either moved or migrated to warmer places … and are longing to see November snow! The pleasure was all mine!

QAspen8Nov14#015Ec5x7

The last of the aspen leaves

Blackberry8Nov14#018E

Blackberry

Stream8Nov14#020Ec4x6

Snow reflections in a tiny stream

JapBarberry8Nov14#026E2c8x10

Wild Japanese Barberry, escaped from cultivation

Doe8Nov14#041Ec8x10

Mature White-tail, doe

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

The Orphan

In late July I was told of a White-tailed deer fawn that was a regular visitor on the grounds of the Morrisville State College Equine Rehabilitation complex. It was often seen feeding around buildings and paddocks in daylight, always alone, and not particularly fearful of people. Since the equine facility is adjacent to a highway, it was logical to assume that the fawn was an orphan, its mother a Department of Transportation statistic.

Interested in its behavior and physical condition over time, I’ve made several trips to see the orphan. I found and photographed it on two occasions, first on August 11 and again today, September 8.

FawnOrphan11Aug13#010E

Fawn, orphan, August 11, 2013

FawnOrphan11Aug13#022E

Fawn, orphan, August 11, 2013

FawnOrphan11Aug13#026E

Fawn, orphan, August 11, 2013

After a 200-day gestation period, peak fawn drop is around June 1, plus or minus two weeks. A fawn is weaned in two to four months (the literature isn’t precise on this) and starts losing its spotted coat in September. This fawn was first observed feeding alone, around people, in late July so I will assume it was orphaned at that time. If it was born in late May, it was cut off from mother’s milk after two months, the minimum weaning time. In all likelihood it has had an inferior diet since that time.

When I saw the orphan today it appeared to be healthy but immature and a bit underweight (my yardstick is the adult doe and her two fawns that I play cat and mouse with on my property on a daily basis). Time will tell if the orphan will have the body mass and survival wisdom to make it through the winter.

FawnOrphan8Sept13#008E

Fawn, orphan, September 8, 2013

FawnOrphan8Sept13#014E

Fawn, orphan, September 8, 2013

FawnOrphan8Sept13#025Ec8x10

Fawn, orphan, feeding, September 8, 2013

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.