A new one.

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It is always fun to see a new one. Here are two views of a new and interesting looking insect which we think to be a bee but could well be a fly. It smaller than a honey bee, has long antennae,  a hairy body like a bee and interesting orange wings. This was the only one like this we have encountered and is not shown in the guide to local bees making me think it may be a bee-fly mimic.

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Yes, it is indeed fun to encounter a new species of any kind to reinforce just how wonderful the diversity of life on our planet.

 

Thanks for everyones help in identification of this insect. Looks to be a Hornet-Moth.

 

 

Under her wing

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.

Wings of August

With wings tattered and torn a Fritillary takes a sip of nectar on the coneflowers. Those tattered wings sure feel like a metaphor for the month that has passed.

We don’t know about you but we are looking forward to autumn this year.

Still Summer

Alas, while most of the summers wildflowers have come and gone there is still a bit of color to be found. The Dotted Gayfeather have done well this year and are in full bloom in the fields and along the roadside near our home and it looks like other besides ourselves are enjoying them as a little Skipper Butterfly enjoys a late summers sip of nectar.

Orobanche uniflora

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I can’t say it better than it is stated in this NY Times article “There’s simply no way to talk about the beauty of Orobanche uniflora without raising a lot of eyebrows.”

Commonly called Naked Broomrape or sometimes Flowered Cancer Root this wonderful flower with unflattering common names was a new one to us when we came across it in meadow on a recent hike.

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It is a short leafless plant unable to photosynthsize thus gaining it’s nutrients by parasitism. Often using sedum, saxifrages and asters as a host plant. Typically growing only up to 3 inches tall we found this cluster buried deep in the grass.

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It is a beautiful little flower and very unique to say the least.

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In the fir: American Goldfinch

This summer a family of American Goldfinches has made their home in the fir trees nearby. Many a day have been brightened by their singing and the flight call as they move from treetop to treetop. A few weeks back we watched this male Goldfinch searching the ends of the branches in a tree with abundant fresh growth.

The trees were teaming with small caterpillars and this guy looks to have found a nice meal that afternoon.

Meal devoured and a victory pose well struck.

Have a wonderful weekend.