September 15, 2014


Sometimes being different can make you stand out from the crowd.

Just one odd sunflower in a 50 acre field. Different can be good.

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September 14, 2014


Who said turtles arne't fast.

This soft-shelled turtle was placid one moment and an instant later it was lunging at the camera.
Camera shy I guess.

Apalone spinifera

The spiny softshell is Ontario’s only turtle with a flexible, leathery carapace (upper shell) and the only species in the province that can attain a size comparable to that of the snapping turtle.
The carapace of females of this large turtle may reach 43 centimetres in length, and that of males may reach a length of about 23 centimetres.

source - Ontario Nature

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September 11, 2014


On the grid.

I know the big thing now is to be off the grid.
This hickory tussock caterpillar seems to be content to be fully on the grid.
Actually it is the screen door that opens onto the deck.
Gives you an idea of how small it is.

Lophocampa caryae
The hairs of the hickory tussock caterpillar spell trouble, especially the longer “lashes,” which are connected to poison glands. These hollow tubes allow the pokee to introduce a chemical into the poker.

For most of us, a close encounter of the hickory tussock caterpillar kind results in a burning, nettle-type, itchy rash. Cleaning the sting with soap and water, dabbing on some ammonia or calamine lotion, and topping it off with some ice should handle the problem.
More sensitive souls can experience swelling and nausea and may have to see a doctor. The fuzzy setae that cover the caterpillar’s body are barbed and are mechanically irritating, especially if accidentally rubbed in the eyes.

source - University of Wisconsin.

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September 10, 2014


I like redstarts.

The tail flaring makes them easy to identify.

They move quickly and it can be difficult getting a photo.

Setophaga ruticilla

Like the Painted Redstart and other “redstarts” of the Neotropics, the American Redstart flashes the bright patches in its tail and wings. This seems to startle insect prey and give the birds an opportunity to catch them. Though these birds share a common name, they are not closely related to each other. In fact, there are other unrelated birds around the world—such as the fantails of Australia and southeastern Asia, and other redstarts of Europe—that share the same foraging tricks.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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September 09, 2014


Oh, Shine on, shine on, harvest moon

Up in the sky;
I ain't had no lovin'
Since April, January, June or July.
's no time, ain't no time to stay
Outdoors and spoon;
So shine on, shine on, harvest moon,
For me and my gal.

Just before midnight last night through a light haze.

A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth.

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September 07, 2014


Do you like my new fascinator?

I hope so, I worked very hard on it.

What, you don't know what a fascinator is? Ok, it's just a silly hat.
According to the Wikipedia, the font of all internet knowledge this is the description of a fascinator.

A fascinator is a headpiece, a style of millinery. The word originally referred to a fine, lacy head covering akin to a shawl and made from wool or lace, but mostly feathers. In the modern usage, it refers to a woman's alternative to hat for formal attire; it is usually a large hair decoration on a band or clip with elaborate trimmings and decoration like a formal hat and it can incorporate a base to make it a miniature hat.

The bird, an American goldfinch.

Spinus tristis

Goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, selecting an entirely vegetable diet and only inadvertently swallowing an occasional insect.

As of May 2007, the oldest known American Goldfinch was 10 years 5 months old.

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September 04, 2014


The journey of 1000 miles...

...starts with 100 steps. Or there abouts. A single step seems too restrictive for this fellow.
I don't know why this caterpillar decided to cross the water lettuce to get to the other side of the pond but it was chugging right along.Up one leaf, down the next, repeat.
I have to assume that frogs don't eat caterpillars as they didn't bother him.

I don't know the type of caterpillar so I can't give you any scientific stuff.

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