Late Summer Magic; Insects and Fall Warblers

Late August isn’t usually when I think of seeing fall warblers in central Ohio. Although I’m sure that’s the result of a certain level of ignorance on my part. So not really expecting the warblers this early, most of our efforts in recent days have been spent looking for, and enjoying, the “bugs” that currently seem to be in their prime. What started as a way to say curious during the summer doldrums has now become a real goal of our explorations.

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Whether a spider, butterfly, moth, bee, or dragonfly their unique beauty and behavior, so unlike our own, takes us into a truly different world.  Fascinating as they are I wouldn’t want to return “in the next life” as an insect. The dragonfly is too efficient and maneuverable a flying machine bringing a quick end to anything flying nearby that it considers a meal. The life cycle of many wasps requires that caterpillars become live hosts for their larva. A convenient meal for the future wasps but undoubtedly not a pleasant experience for the caterpillar.  A garden spider quickly dispatches and gift wraps a careless fly in silk for later consumption. And just when you think your the biggest, baddest, “bug” around, a bird comes along. I could go on but it is sufficient to say, it’s not for me.

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Praying Mantis in our backyard garden. They’ve been observed catching unsuspecting humming birds that get a little too close.

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A closer look, this is one insect that has no trouble holding on to it’s meal!

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Iron weed and a Clouded Sulfur, flowers upon flowers, north end of Griggs Reservoir.

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Wasps making baby wasps, Prairie Oaks Metro Parks.

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Pelecinid Wasp, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Monarch, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

 

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Question Mark, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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Spotted Orbweaver, Griggs Park

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Triangle-bearing Orbweaver (very small), Griggs Park

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Very small Mayfly close to the water, Griggs Park

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Funnel Weaver Grass Spider, (Donna)

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Bumble bee, (Donna).

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Overhead view of a Katydid, (Donna)

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Walnut Caterpillar, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Marbled Orbweaver, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Unidentified fly, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Mayfly, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Grasshopper, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Spotted Orb Weaver (underside), Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Variegated Fritillary, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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It’s not as if there haven’t been birds around. Sometimes, in our quest for insects, we get so engaged in looking down we forget to look up! The Osprey was discovered as we were looking for warblers and provided many great poses as he devoured a fish just two of which are shown below.

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Osprey with fish, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

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Take two.

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Northern Flicker, finally managed to get an image which shows off most of it’s distinctive markings, Kiwanis Riverway Park

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Great Crested Flycatcher, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

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Red-bellied Woodpeckers, adult and immature, Griggs Park

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Great Blue Heron and nest, north end of Griggs Reservoir. This is special because it’s the first nest I’ve noticed at that area in some time.

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.   .   .  and then there were the warblers, always more seen than successfully photographed.

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Black and White, Griggs Park

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Yellow-throated, Griggs Park.

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American Redstart, 1st year, Griggs Park.

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From a different angle, (Donna)

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Cape May, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Immature Red-eyed Vireo, Griggs Park

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When in nature take a moment to enjoy the whole, allowing yourself just to be.

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Kiwanis Riverway Park.

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With the fall migration just getting started we’re looking forward to what will be seen in the coming weeks.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Sounds of Insects and Summer Passing

We recently walked the trails at Prairie Oaks Metro Park with the intention of getting a few pictures of whatever insects happened by or more importantly landed on a leaf or flower long enough to photograph.

Pausing to listen by a lake, meadow, or woods will quickly bring you to the realization that it’s that insect time of the year. Actual it’s been so for several weeks but now trees have hints of color other than green and when venturing out in the morning one is greeted by cooler temperatures. The sun is lower now as it continues it’s yearly journey south so the light is also different, piercing rather than embracing. At water’s edge dragonflies ceaselessly patrol in the warm late morning sun while Monarch and Viceroy butterflies go about their business in the nearby meadows. Walking through the same meadows in pursuit of a butterfly one is greeting by hundreds of grasshoppers all seeking a different escape route. Further in the woods more woodpeckers and bluejays are heard and one can’t help but notice a branch rebounding as a Fox squirrel moves from tree to tree. It couldn’t be getting ready for winter already could it? In early September, with the absence of any sudden cloudbursts, the rivers in central Ohio are low, exposing previously hidden gravel bars, and are a pleasant shade of green.

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Low water on the Big Darby exposes a gravel bar, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Ruby Meadowhawk, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Fragile Forktail, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Grasshopper, one of many seen, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Duskywing, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Widow Skimmer (M), Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

Black and white wasp 090814 Prairie Oaks bend lakes cp1

Black and White Wasp, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Hover fly (not a bee) on flower, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Widow Skimmer, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna)

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Painted turtles, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Monarch, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Viceroy, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Bluegill, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Eastern Pondhawk, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Pond, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Flowers at waters edge, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Ebony Jewel wing, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Blue-ringed Dancer, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Pond, study 2, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Halloween Pennant, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Painted Turtles, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Silhouettes, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Eastern Wood Peewee watching dragonflies, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Crooked-stem Asters, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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Big Darby, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

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