This male, adult Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker was seen feeding on ants in one of our Tamarack Trees along our driveway. Always striking in its appearance, in the background the rich yellow of Coneflowers in my flower garden highlighted the yellow on its undertail; enhancing its beauty even more. Flickers belong to the Woodpecker family.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
I'm always fascinated whenever I find a Black and Yellow Garden Spider in my garden. This is perhaps the 3th or 4th one I have found in the past few years. Yesterday's find was unexpected as this spider wasn't in the area of my garden where I usually find them. I was thinning my white flower bed when I spied it in the tall stalks of a white Obiedent Plant (a.k.a.: False Dragonhead). What was more exciting to me though (instead of the garden spider), was the brownish covered egg sac I found nearby! This was a first find of such for me. I noticed a brown ball-shaped object, in a tangle of silken threads, which, at a first glance, reminded me of a Goldenrod Gall, but this seemed somewhat larger than a gall found on a Goldenrod stalk. After laying eggs on a silken bed the Garden Spider will create a ball shaped sac and cover it with an outer wrapping of brownish silk. When hatched in the spring this sac will apparently contain about 1000 minute spiders! For more information on Black and Yellow Garden spiders and the egg sacs which they create please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_garden_spider
For more postings on spiders please go to: http://naturetales.blogspot.com/2007/09/european-garden-spider.html
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:37 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Walking along a woods trail, with a cushion of soft pine needles beneath my feet, I suddenly saw a little sparrow-type-looking bird silently lift from the forest floor and perch in the bare branches of an old Pine Tree above. Thinking it was perhaps just a Song Sparrow, for there are many about this time of year it seems; I decided to photograph it anyway as I had not encounter -ed anything else yet this morning. As I was taking the pictures though, I noticed that its movements were different, not brisk and quick like a sparrow, and it seemed to have a decidedly different sort of walk as it moved along the branch. It was unhurried and stayed within camera range, although as I got closer it moved away, keeping a uniform distance between me and my camera. There were no sounds during this encounter so I had no auditory clues to consider. Continuing on my walk I reached my destination and sat upon a rock for a while watching the river. After sitting for a few minutes I decided to review the pictures I had taken of the little bird I had encountered along the trail.. Only then did I see the very noticeable and distinguishing 'white eye ring'. Still I was not quite sure of its identification for I was thinking, "Hermit Thrush" at first. I had seen one before in the same area; however the size did not match, for although a Hermit Thrush is a smaller thrush among other thrushes, this bird was too small to fit that category. Also a Hermit Thrush has 'spots' on its breast whereas this bird had 'streaks'.The name, "Ovenbird" came to mind although I had seen only pictures of that species in field guide books. Striding home, now with a purpose in mind, I immed -iately went to my Sibley's Field Guide. Ah ha!! A new bird to add to my life list today! An Ovenbird!
Posted by me ann my camera at 4:22 PM
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Sitting on our back porch swing and observing my garden at this time of year is always a rewarding experience. Earlier this week, my investigation of quick movements and glimpses of warbler yellow, seen within our large, round flower bed, led me to the discovery of this female Common Yellowthroat moving among the yellow Coneflowers growing there.
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:57 AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Posted by me ann my camera at 10:50 AM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:02 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007
Yesterday morning, having woken early, and as the rest of my household was still sleeping, I ventured out to do some early morning birding before breakfast. Our river is a very likely place to find early morning activity and so I decided to make the observation post overlooking it (the river) my first stop. The rising sun cast strong light upon the water and the reflections of a couple of Spotted Sandpipers were more clearly seen than the actual birds which was the source of their mirror images. A nearby apple tree was full of noise and upon checking out its source I found a Philadelphia Vireo there. When turning to leave I hear my first Osprey of the day and could see the resident flock of Pigeons flying to the highway bridge nearby. My next stop was a lake a few miles away and I was really pleased to see a group of Wood Duck feeding there. I had noticed these ducks a few days ago but they usually disappeared as soon as they had seen me. As one juvenile separated from the group and fed a distance from the others, it came closer to me and the still waters created a beautiful reflection of it. Having decided it was time to return home I had moved only a few meters up the road when I noticed activity close by in a Chokecherry tree which was full of ripe fruit. There were two Eastern Kingbirds there and one immed- iately flew to the wires overhead; while the other dis- appeared. I think maybe the bird pictured to the left above is a juvenile Kingbird. Having my camera full of bird images I returned home. What a wonderful way to start the day!
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:08 AM
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Although I have seen hundreds and hundreds of Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies, for they seem to be everywhere in the early summer, I had never seen an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar until this week. We had been walking along the edge of a river admiring the beautiful Water Lilies and the reflection of blue Pickerel Weed growing there. Upon returning to our car my sister-in-law remarked, "Oh, I see we have a visitor!" Perched upon the receiving end of my seat belt was a fascinating, intriguing looking, smooth, green caterpillar with black, blue and yellow eyespots and a black eyebrow! I don't know how it got there but I suspect it may have been caught upon my clothing or camera and I carried it back to the car with us . We considered ourselves very lucky to have seen it for from what I have read, they are often located nearer the tops of trees, rather than in lower locations. As we studied it we could see that it retracted its head within its body but when it walked its head would protrude out of a front opening.
Posted by me ann my camera at 8:53 AM
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Walking along the rocky-strewn bed of the Little Yoho Brook I noticed this Wood Turtle among the rocks and grasses near its shores. The Wood Turtle is terrestrial and can be found in the woods, whereas Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles feed in the water. As soon as this turtle was aware of my presence it tried to seek cover by crawling under the edge of a rock. We left it undisturbed and continued on with our hike.
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:25 AM
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
There is a small lake nearby where I often go to watch for Osprey and Kingfishers, Painted Turtles and Red-winged Blackbirds. At the end of the lake the water has been bisected by a road and a railroad bed. The photo above shows the railroad bed and the drainage pipe which connects it to a small sort of swampy pond, drainage area on the other side. I seldom check out this side of the road but a couple of days ago I saw a Wood Duck Family just at the same time they saw me and they quickly disappear -ed into the pipe opening. Deciding to check the area out further I found an old , narrow road down the other side of the railroad track and driving down it found a fascinating swamp like area. Looking through the drainage pipe from this view I saw saw another duck approach the entrance on the other side; but it also anticipating the view saw me and quickly disappeared from its entrance. This spot was a wonderful find and I shall return to this beautiful location again.
Posted by me ann my camera at 7:36 AM
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sitting on a log at the edge of the pond, this Green Frog presented a photo oppor- tunity for a good close up view. Its green upper jaw distinguishes this frog from others. The water line on its body shows a distinct colour change due to the silt in the pond water. The Tadpole shown below may be that of a Green Frog, though that is only speculation on my part as it was found in the same location as the frog. After hatching a Green Frog Tadpole grows to a length of about 3 inches and then overwinters in the water, not tranforming into a frog until the following season. (ref. source: The Amphibians and Reptiles of New Brunswick, Stanley W. Gorham, NB Museum pub. , 1970)
Posted by me ann my camera at 9:15 AM
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Posted by me ann my camera at 8:11 AM