Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer winds down

The sun’s angle is shifting and along with that there are some other signs of the waning summer. Ghostly reams of silk of the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) hang from a branch of the gray birch. Fortunately this infestation is isolated to just a few branches of the tree and will not cause too much harm. The adult is an inconspicuous small white moth native to North America.

Marasmius rotula

Mushrooms appear on woody mulch, rotting tree stumps and along shady pathways. Some are bright orange and resemble chanterelles. But I am not expert enough to ID these and throw them in a pan for a tasty treat. Clusters of the tiny pinwheel mushroom (Marasmius rotula) provide a brief glimpse of fairyland.

Common true katydid 
Pterophylla camellifolia

The evening chorus of stridulating insects has risen to the season’s crescendo. Every now and again I get a closer look at these amazing insects. This one, most probably a late juvenile male was found perching on a sunflower leaf.

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