Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nature On My Own

What can you do when your child has a class and you've got some time to kill? Take a nature walk on your own.

That's what I did today while Alexandra was in a class. And it was so much fun! This was our first truly Autumn-like day with temperatures in the mid-80's. Beautiful!!!

I found this interesting butterfly that I wasn't sure wasn't a moth. Thanks to Beautiful In Its Time, I was able to identify it as a Esmeralda Longtail Butterfly. (And, she has a much better photo than I do and has so incredible images all over her blog!) That explains the strange wings that I found so interesting... and confusing!

I believe these are 2 types of galls. But, someone asked me how I could tell they weren't insect eggs. How can you tell the difference?

Another cool type of gall. (I think.) They were actually hard and kind of sharp to the touch.

A green anole. I followed this little guy around for about 5 minutes taking photos, but he was just a little too far away to get a good, close shot.

Purple Beautyberry. (Thanks, Marjorie, for the help identifying this!) I love how they grow in clumps along the stem.

I wasn't sure what this was at first. But, I figured out it was sap from the pine tree next to it. I'm not sure what the small white things are - they didn't move. Wish I would have had my magnifying glass! I think they might be a small insect.
The pine tree that was dripping sap. A lot of sap was coming from holes made by woodpeckers, I believe.

A curl of a tree.

Again, thanks to Marjorie for helping me identify this. This is a False Turkey Tail fungus. Isn't that a great name for it?
A woodpecker - I believe a red-bellied woodpecker. He was up high in the tree and I didn't have my binoculars! (He's on the bottom side of the horizontal branch.) He was building (or digging out) his nest! I watched "him" repeatedly go into the tree and evidentally dig more out. Each time he came back out, fine bits of wood would float down so I knew he was digging, even though I didn't hear him. Earlier in the day, I had seen 2 woodpeckers (same kind) and they were traveling from tree to tree together. Perhaps this is their nest and I'll get to check it out each week.
I know I had more questions than answers tonight. I'd appreciate any help in identifying these different nature finds!


Anonymous said...

Great pictures :-) I think the berries are Purple Beautyberry and the fungus is False Turkey Tail. Fun!

Unknown said...

What a refreshing nature walk you had....isn't it amazing what you can see if you just focus on finding something? I am in awe of all we have around us to learn about.

Great photo of the fungus, now I know what it is that I saw last week...thanks for sharing.

Have a great weekend,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Robin said...

You really are so observant. I probably would have walked right on by without noticing all the treasures. All the photos turned out so pretty, too!

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