It’s Been a While! Photos from a Nature Walk + Updates

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Yowza, I haven’t written since the end of August!  In no particular order here’s an update, upcoming info, and some photos  to catch up with everyone.

In my unplanned hiatus from the Withywindle Nature Blog, I’ve decided to put Windows on Wildlife on hold for a while. I’m dealing with enough stress on my end, I don’t need to add guilt over not keeping up with my blog carnival on top of it. I’m thinking about bringing it back on a monthly basis instead of weekly, but haven’t decided fully one way or the other.  Won’t be until the start of next calendar year, regardless.

Although we’ve skipped an issue, the Quarterly Botanical is still happening, and I’ll have a fall issue published by the end of this week or the beginning of next.

And the update… my health is still a bit up and down, and I’m finding that I’m easily waylaid by what would normally be minor issues. In addition, I was working on a great website for a couple of documentary filmmakers which is now published but the project took much longer than anticipated due to the aforementioned health issues. And I wanted to give it my full attention which is why the blog slipped while I was working.  If you’re interested, you can view the site I developed at: www.womenof69unboxed.org.

____________________________________________________________

I’ve been taking my Youngest Son out on my walk in the woods with Thorin lately, and have been trying to find ways to make it fun for him (as he complains every time I tell him its time to go for our walk). We had a great walk yesterday (finally got him to say walks in the woods are fun!), and here are some photos I took along the way:

Blooming Witch Hazel

Blooming Witch Hazel

 

Funky Grape Vine

Funky Grape Vine

And this is from a walk I took with a friend in September (as is the Jack-in-the-Pulpit berries above) – I really like the way the light is illuminating the Indian Pipe:

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe

 

Windows on Wildlife: Milkweed Tussock Moth

Welcome to the 36th edition of the Windows on Wildlife Blog Carnival! If you have a recent post or photo about wildlife you’d like to share (it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals…) scroll down to the end of the post and add your site. I will compile and post a summary of all additions the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here and visit other blogs in the carnival. Thanks for stopping by!

Milkweed Tussock Moth

Michelle at Rambling Woods helped me with this one – I mentioned a particular caterpillar that I’ve been seeing in my pollinator garden, and she suggested that it might be a Milkweed Tussock Moth. And she was right! (thanks, Michelle!) Reminiscent of a Monarch butterfly’s coloration, this hairy caterpillar will overwinter in its cocoon and emerge as a small, mousy-grey moth with yellow and black abdomen:

Milkweed Tussock Moth

In order to confirm Michelle’s guess, I turned to my field guide collection which was sadly lacking in caterpillar and moth identification. I used this excuse to get two new guides: Peterson’s First Guide to Caterpillars, and the newest addition to the Peterson’s Field Guide library – Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America (note: book links take you to Powell’s Books, of which I’m an affiliate seller).

Unfortunately, the Field Guide to Moths doesn’t deal with identification of caterpillars which is why I ended up with two. Despite its hefty size and price (relatively speaking) I opted to get the moth guide in aspirations of eventually mothing. Hasn’t happened yet, though.  But I will say that I already love this comprehensive guide.  One of the tricks I use in getting a leg up on identification (regardless of topic) is to go through a field guide in advance. This one is quite large and will take time to assimilate, but it’s a good strategy to employ before first using any field guide in the field. I can’t say that I follow this strategy religiously, but I do try and scan my new guides as much as possible before using them, when I can (or remember to).

Linking up this week with Nature Notes:

about-my-nature-notes-meme

 

.

 

=========================================================

Gary and Boom of Vermilon River Wildlife shared a post last week with stunning photos (as usual!), among which were some of a Northern Harrier and a Black-billed Cuckoo.  Share your wildlife posts and photos from the week in the link-up below!


Wordless Wednesday: Sign Collection Part 3, No Dog Fouling

SAMSUNG

I know what they’re trying to say, but it sounds instead like someone’s messing up dogs….

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Windows on Wildlife: The Sounds of Bats, A Great Horned Owl & Coyote Pack

Welcome to the 35th edition of the Windows on Wildlife Blog Carnival! If you have a recent post or photo about wildlife you’d like to share (it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals…) scroll down to the end of the post and add your site. I will compile and post a summary of all additions the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here and visit other blogs in the carnival. Thanks for stopping by!


Due to my daily radiation treatments, our family wasn’t able to take a full week vacation in the Catskills this summer, as we’ve done in the past. Very disappointing, but we made a point of getting up there for a long weekend in July and in August, and we’ll be back at the cabin for Labor Day weekend.

One treat this year was the timing of the Perseid meteor shower – it peaked over the weekend, with a clear sky and very little moonlight. I don’t go many places that are as unaffected by light pollution as our cabin in the Catskill mountains, and star-gazing there is such a different experience than anywhere else. I forget how covered in stars the sky really is, and what a wonder it is to peer up at the Milky Way and know that you’re staring at the edge of our galaxy.

Starry Starry Night
melfoody / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The meteor shower wasn’t as active as I had imagined (or hoped), but we had some good sightings. Actually, I was just content to sit out on the front lawn in an Adirondack chair and stare into the sky for over an hour. The only sounds up there at night is the rushing of the stream (Friday’s heavy rain swelled all the local waterways) and the chorus of crickets. A Great Horned Owl called from a distance for a while, and the squeaks, chirps and chitters of bats (some swooping so low I think we could have touched them) kept us company for the first 1/2 hour.

The next day we were out playing ball with the kids when clear as a bell I heard a coyote pack howling. It was about late morning, which wasn’t a very typical time to hear coyotes but there was no mistaking the beautiful, eerie chorus of howls that briefly filled our area in the valley.

Coyotes Howling
curtzsi / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

What did you hear in nature this week? Share your finds in this week’s carnival link-up below!

Linking up with Nature Notes this week:

about-my-nature-notes-meme

 

 

 


Windows on Wildlife: More Coyote Scat

Welcome to the 34th edition of the Windows on Wildlife Blog Carnival! If you have a recent post or photo about wildlife you’d like to share (it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals…) scroll down to the end of the post and add your site. I will compile and post a summary of all additions the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here and visit other blogs in the carnival. Thanks for stopping by!

Coyote Scat

I’m still baffled at the popularity of coyote scat. My site runs on WordPress, and at the end of 2012, they gave site owners a ‘year in review’ of stats from their blogs. By far and away, my posts on coyotes scat were the most popular articles last year. Can anyone shed light on this?

I actually would have shared this photo regardless, because I found it fascinating (yeah, I know…).  All the white  bits are pieces of bone – some of them were huge! And I didn’t think to take measurements, but the diameter of this scat is pretty impressive – it’s clearly aged and lost mass, making me wonder about the size of the animal that left it behind.

Do you have a wildlife post or photo? Share it in the link-up below!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • RSS
  • Newsletter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • NetworkedBlogs
  • Twitter