It’s going to be an exceptional year for apples. All our trees are loaded down and a few apples are starting to fall to the ground. I see a lot of applesauce in my future.
The goldenrod is attracting many varieties of pollinators, from fat bumblebees to tiny glossy metallic critters that hover and dive like dragonflies. Even the yellow jackets aren’t aggressive while feeding. The whole patch is in a constant state of whir and buzz. Maybe they sense the days growing shorter, adding urgency to all they do.
I haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars in the milkweed patch, though a few butterflies have visited it.
Despite the unseasonable heat this week, fall is coming fast. I’m starting to see the first color in the sumacs and in the swamp maples across the pond. My favorite season is almost here!
Moonlight shivers along pine boughs
Even at the darkest
it’s hot, air is still
mist rising over fields
More oppressive still
the cicadas’ scream crescendos
then stops, then painfully scales up
Meteors and fireflies
burn up in the atmosphere
We sigh for a cool kiss
from high peaks
Birding was slow at Five Rivers this morning: only a few warblers. We’re still waiting on the waves of fall migrants.
So I turned my attention to the butterfly bush outside the education center. No hummingbirds, but I found this lovely hawk moth feasting.
I think this is a Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe. I was delighted to get several decent pictures as I followed it from blossom to blossom.
And now I should go outside, because there’s an Eastern Towhee in the grapevines and intriguing fluttering all around!
I had some time to kill, so I sat down at a table in the Corning Preserve and watched the natural world go by.
Young birds everywhere!
“Are you sure you don’t have any stale bread?”
Sturnus vulgaris, uncharacteristically sleek.
Gray Catbird, featuring rufous underparts.
Papa House Sparrow, another snappy dresser.
And on the table:
Tiny color-coordinated spider of the quickly-scurrying variety.
The smallest imaginable leaf-hopper. Species unknown — I googled ‘leafhopper green curly tail’ unsuccessfully.
And an amazing caterpillar, soon to grow up to be a White-marked Tussock Moth. Its head shone like a coral bead.