Monday, July 31, 2017

Plants With Pavement and the Built World as Background

Because the sheer beauty of the form of the NY ironweed is not diminished by it.

Because even the tiniest of flowers can still manage to command your attention here.

Because the pavement and sidewalk take me where I want to go. And because the flowers and plants are here right where we are. In the places we have built that contain both hard and soft landscapes.

"The only true voyage of discovery, the only eternal fountain of youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes..." Proust

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hooked on Anemones

The lure of the anemones is irresistible bait for me and a bumblebee. 

I, however, refrained from trying to stick my whole head in one.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Standing in for the Sun on a Cool Gray Summer Morning.

It's almost as if the sunflowers were standing in for the sun earlier on today's unusually cool and grey summer morning. And I guess then the bees were like that daredevil Icarus, only way more successful?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Spicebush Swallowtail at Summersweet!!!

Looks like I was in the right place at the right time to catch a glimpse of this suh-weet Spicebush Swallowtail.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Entomology Photo Safari at Hofstra

I went on an entomology photo safari at Hostra and the cool thing was (yeah, I just put the words cool and entomology in the same sentence) I didn't even have to get a plane ticket to go on this adventure. I just had to stroll over to the Joe Pye-weed to discover some pollinators, like this sweet Monarch butterfly.

The Summersweet was another local joint that was jumping, with a variety of bees and wasps zipping in, out and milling about. There I had chance encounters with two new species. The first was a very small butterfly, which would only reveal enchanting flashes of blue while in flight. Since it didn't give me its name and wasn't wearing a name tag, after doing some hunting around I am going to call it a Summer Azure. (Thankfully, I was the only one on today's photo safari, so I'm safe doing this, as I just read over at the North Jersey Butterfly Club that all it takes is one Azure and two entomologists for a butterfly ID smackdown to spark, or at the very least a "spirited battle". Who knew entomologists were such brawlers? Not me, thats for sure.)

Speaking of tough guys, the other new insect I met at the Summersweet seemed to be acting more like it was on the prowl than seeking some flower nectar. My immediate guess was that I had just photographed some kind of predatory fly. After some research, I'm going to call this one an assassin fly because assissin fly seems more threatening and apt (and badass) then another common name, the robber fly. If it is an assassin fly, it isn't exactly out to "rob" another insect's nest or eggs. Or purse. It's going for the kill.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wildlife Wednesday: Tiny Syrphid fly and Notsotiny Skimmer Dragonfly

1. Tiny Syrphid Fly: Toxomerus marginatus on Crepe Myrtle flower above, a species of hoverfly I have run into before (if my ID is correct, that is).

2. Notsotiny Skimmer Dragonfly: Below, Common Whitetail (odd name since I see no whitetail) on rock. And as I just learned over on my favorite insect ID site, it's an adult male Skimmer Dragonfly Plathemis lydia.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tassels & Silk

Hmm. Has there ever been a band named Tassels & Silk? Well, maybe it would make more sense as a restaurant name then or fabric shop? 

I passed a side yard where someone had planted the three sisters and their corn was tasseling and silking this week. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday's Plant: Joe-Pye Weed

Of course the Joe-Pye Weed isn't really a weed at all.

It was clearly planted purposefully, most likely for it's beauty, and I'm assuming also because it is a North American native plant that attracts certain pollinators.

Tall, pink and handsome. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

This Morning's Plant Porn

Oh my, the stigma and those stamens waved in the air without a care about who might be looking!

And that cone is dripping wet from last night's rain?! 😱 Absolutely shocking.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

It Takes Time to Get To Know Something

Because it takes time to get to know something, I have made it a habit to pay attention to plants I see or grow during the seasons. The bleeding hearts which were blooming this April at Hostra are just now starting to fade and turn yellow as they die back with the heat of summer.

Of course this is also just a really nice excuse to follow some of my favorite plants and spend some time outside with something beautiful.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Several Things I Rested my Eyes On This Week

A grouping of coneflowers between daylily seed pods and some cherry laurels

A splash of red behind a fence

Petals and flowers moved by the wind.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hot + Humid, Hibiscus 🌺 like Hawai'i Summer Day

There's a heat advisory for New York today on account of the (how shall I put it?) "tropical" weather we are having. It's hot hot hot and humid. Is it just me or does it seem like even the flowers are in on making New York seem like the tropics today?

Hibiscus flowers (these are two different species) certainly make me think of Hawai'i.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Conifer Cone Challenge for Google

I'm not sure where I was on the internet when I read that Google will be able to someday identify all plants. I don't think the article claimed google could do this just by cones alone, but I am curious as to what I will find if I do an image search with these conifer cone pictures.

I could be wrong but I doubt Gooble is anywhere near out-identifying gardeners and botanists today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Quick Bee Hunt

I wanted to see if I could snap a picture of a pollinator today so I headed to a plant I figured might have some visitors and this Liatris, an American wildflower,  did not disappoint.

A big patch of Lysimachia clethroides was also a hot spot for bees and wasps. And while I got no pictures, I spotted pollinators visiting some Summersweet, Vitex and Russian sage on my quick bee hunt as well. Success!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Chasing Schmetterlings

At least once every summer you should find yourself spending part of the morning or afternoon chasing schmetterlings (which someone recently told me is the German word for butterflies). I was stalking some schmetterlings over by a bottlebrush buckeye yesterday afternoon, but only managed to capture this one Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, which I will say is male after consulting my favorite insect ID site, with the camera.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

On A Bench with Vitex, the Chaste Tree

I spent a few dreamy minutes on a bench with Vitex, the Chaste tree, next to me, watching bees dart in and out of the flowers and shadows dance in today's summer breeze and bright sun.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

It's Crepe Myrtle Time Again

And if the number of pictures I have taken of Crepe Myrtles over time indicates anything, it's probably that I'm a bit of a fan of them even when they aren't in bloom.

Friday, July 14, 2017

I Take My Walking Slow

I take my walking slow.

And as the poem by Roethke goes, I learn by going where I have to go.

What is there to know?

Anemones bloom.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nicotiana Break

As the rain dissipated and the sky cleared yesterday, I took a little break near a tall flowering tobaccy plant.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Seasons, Same Spot, Same Plant --Oakleaf Hyrdrangea

What remains of an Oakleaf Hyndrangea's bloom and bracts --winter 2017

The beauty of this season will endure longer than you might think is possible.