This little guy surprised us by flying down and landing right in front of us while we were walking in a dimly lit forest. We are not sure if it is a Western or Eastern Screech Owl as both are commonly seen in our area and we only got a couple of photos before he flew off further into the woods. A nice little surprise on a summer afternoon.
Not John, Paul, George and Ringo but a handsome looking group of Beetles nonetheless.
Various encounters with members of the order Coleoptera we photographed over the last couple of months.
Diverse adapted and ready for whatever is thrown their way. Beetle species number over 400,000 and a large number are probable still to be discovered.
Earlier this summer we ran across a peculiar plant making its way up through the earth in the forest. A strange striped asparagus? No Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromeda.
According to Wikipedia “Like all members of the Monotriopoidiae , Pterospora andromedea lacks chlorophyll (trace amounts have been identified, but not enough to provide energy for the plant or to color it. Plants exist for most of their life as a mass of brittle, but fleshy, roots. They live in a parasitic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, in which plants derive all their carbon from their associated fungus, but the relationship is not yet well understood.”
Now that summer has passed and fall is in the air the plant looks like this.
Somewhat like a small tree full of small pumpkins decorating the autumn forest.
Relentlessly buzzing and zooming while patrolling his small pond a dragonflies flight is something to behold.
This patch of pond must have been a treasure worth holding onto as anyone who dare flew into his view was quickly escorted away with a swift deliberate attack. As he flew head on into the camera we got a quick a cursory glance then he was gone.
Upon first glance there was something a bit odd, a bit unusual about this female Ruffed Grouse. She just seemed a bit bigger, a bit puffed out compared to other females we have seen. It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on as you can only keep a clutch of fidgety Ruffed Grouse chicks still and under wraps for so long.
At first these little guys were just peeking out from under Mom’s wing a little cautious but ever so curious.
Yet within a minute or two they began to emerge from under cover.
Then in the blink of an eye they were darting out and into the tall grasses in search of a meal and quickly disappearing from sight.
We counted six little grouse emerge from under mom’s wings that morning. Each darting off into the cover of the grasses and the whole gang disappearing just as quick as they appeared.
The Chokecherries were the big hit on the menu this week. Just like the Western Tanager family a group of American Robins found them to their liking as well.
In fact they were head twistingly irresistible.
It’s amazing to watch them slurp them down in a single gulp and man the seeds in chokecherries are large.
Just like the Tanager family we watched earlier in the week the adults took time demonstrating where and how to eat this fall treat.