09.18.2020 One of the visitors to our Canada Goldenrod

Bronzed Cutworm Moth-Nephelodes minians

I guess I am a fan of these, at least in our yard, as their larvae eat grasses so save me some mowing…well, I am sure not much mowing really. But for those who grow grain crops  probably not fans.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, Lepidoptera, Moths, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

09.18.2020 You know what day it is!

Came across this guy while walking along the Railtrail next to Poor Farm Swamp. We are due for an early, hopefully light, frost this weekend which portends the end of frog season.  Still a little time left but it’s in the future.

Posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

09.17.2020 Garage Moth

Moths seem to like doing an overnight on our garage walls.  Not a lot, but every once in a while I find one or two.  This Juniper Twig Geometer-Patalene olyzonaria was fortunately at eye level.  I have had to put up a ladder for some.

As the name implies, they do eat juniper, as larvae, and we have some nearby. One feature I enjoy in some moths are the feathery antennae.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, macro photography, Moths, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

09.16.2020 Bleeding Fairy Helmet

I don’t name ’em…I just photograph them.  🙂

A friend on Facebook posted some huge Amanitas which I then went looking for on Saturday.  I did find them but as I have done a few times, I am only mentioning them for the moment.  They will follow.  But I always enjoy finding Mycenas and who could resist such a delightfully named species.

Bleeding Fairy Helmets-aka Burgundy Drops-aka Bleeding Mycena-Mycena haematopus


Posted in Closeup Photography, Fungi, Mushrooms, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

09.15.2020 Greater Fringed Gentian Bud in Grasses

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09.14.2020 Macro Monday

I went to visit the fringed gentians this morning.  Unfortunately, sunshine is required for them to open and I only had a few early hours to be out.  I did find one composition with a bud and that will show up later this week. One advantage to being out so early is sleepy insects and I took advantage of that.

There were several of these Eastern Carpenter Bees- Xylocopa virginica virginica spending the cool morning air beneath these Canada GoldenrodSolidago canadensis flowers.  It was a bit breezy but a little patience allowed for some sharp exposures.

Not all bees exist in hive communities.  There are solitary bees, which include these, who have their own nests and raise their young solo, gathering food and defending against predators.  A queen unto themselves. As the name suggests, carpenter bees nest in wood or woody cavities, sometimes causing homeowners problems. Out here in the North Quabbin they only cause trouble for woody stems of plants like goldenrod.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Quabbin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

09.12.2020-2 Spidurday

Well, Gary has his Webnsday and I won’t probably keep this going as faithfully as he has but I have become a bit more interested in Arachnids.

Shamrock Orbweaver- Araneus trifolium.

So this dreamboat decided to inhabit our bee balm, maybe to compete with the Nursery Web spider, or maybe it even ate that spider before claiming the territory. It is much larger, I spotted it from across the yard when I swept through with my large flashlight while out with Bentley after dark, and looks pretty creepy with those hairy legs. This was not the first shot, but all the others had it facing down so the head and eyes could not be seen. Something tickled the web and he/she turned to check it out.

They generally are not out during the day, much like the White Micrathena and  Arboreal Orbweaver I posted previously, and come out to spin a new web each evening.  During the day, like with the Arboreal Orbweaver, they usually curl up inside a leaf that they have pulled closed with some webbing.

Several years ago I hung out with an entomologist during the summer, the author of Kaufman’s Field Guide to the Insects, Eric Eaton. The book is a good general reference when getting started with insects.  One time while out he noticed a curled leaf and said it possibly was the overnight home to a spider.  We opened it up, something I no longer would do, and discovered a Shamrock inside .

While the lighting is better in the second, I’d rather capture them out naturally even if the flash creates a few hot spots.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

09.12.2020 Saturday last Saturday

Although my understanding of when Sundew would be flowering was faulty, I did get a chance to photograph a flower when I went to Gauco Pond last weekend (The same day I shot the red-legged grasshopper I posted earlier this week). There is an incline from the spot to park and as I hit the bottom of the slope I noticed one bright red flower amongst a lot of white.

Cardinal Flower-Lobelia cardinalis surrounded by Boneset Thoroughwort-Eupatorium perfoliatum.

Posted in Central Massachusetts, Flora, Intimate Landscape, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

09.11.2020 Flashback Frog Friday

One day while working in one of our small gardens in front of the house I looked up and saw this Gray Tree Frog-Hyla versicolor sitting on one of the branches of our Weigela shrub over my head.

It seemed totally unconcerned with my presence and had quite a relaxed demeanor. I keep looking for a return visit but that hasn’t occurred yet.

Have a nice weekend everyone and for my friends on the western part of the United States., good luck with diminished winds and increased rain to end the horrible fires out there. So much destruction.

Posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Closeup Photography, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

09.10.2020 Colorful Foliage Ground Beetle

One of the many visitors to our Boneset-Eupatorium perfoliatum, I just saw this beetle once but will surely recognize it if I ever see it again. Pretty hard to forget…the beetle, I am perfectly capable of forgetting the name.

Green-winged Lebia-Lebia viridipennis

What a great insect attractor is Boneset.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments