Saturday, March 31, 2012

We now return you to our normal...

Season. Ick, blah, yech. Typical cold, damp, dreary, raw spring day here in the coastal Mid-Atlantic region. So I give you a few bright spots from a couple of weeks ago...

An azure-colored, um, azure. (Large group of little blue butterflies, Azures.)

He's real, even if he likes to pose like he's a pond ornament.

Blue Corporal, who may or may not turn blue as it/s/he ages.

Happy to report that last time I checked, the big green ogre above had not eaten the wee little Painted Turtle. So long as they each stick to their own ends of the pond, all should be well.

Why do the invasive non-natives have to be the first things to bloom? (Well, getting a head start over the locals is probably part of what makes them successful invasive outsiders.) Top is a Quince. False Quince? Oh, it just gets too confusing... Bottom beauty is some kind of crabapple. Maybe. Needs further investigation. But in the meantime, it's lovely to look at.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Misty dawn.

A redo of Friday's sunrise to make up for this morning's less-than-lovely start...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh, yes. I believe in magic...

Because I've seen faeries dancing in the woods:

(The video doesn't do them justice. What looks like snow or petals falling is actually dozens of little wing├ęd things dancing up and down...)

The mayflies (family Emphemeroptera, how wonderful--and apt!--a name is that?)
were out in Belleplain State Forest on Tuesday, March 20th...

Magic will happen when you least expect it. I wasn't sure what I would find when I chose to walk down that side road, but it certainly wasn't clouds of dancing mayflies that would land on my hand...

(Ooh, and they were doing more than just dancing!)

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faerie, hand in hand…*


And for those of you who must have a name: these mayflies are likely Black Quill, aka Early Brown Spinner (Leptophlebia cupida). Okay, so those common names are actually rather nifty... Many thanks to my new favorite bug man (he knows mayflies! and moths!), Stephen over at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philly. And I knew the fly-fishing world would have more info on mayflies than most of the rest of us: a "spinner" is the mature, final-stage adult. A "dun" is the mayfly stage just before that, the one that comes between the nymph that lives in the stream and the spinner that dances before it dies.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Miscellaneous Felinity.

Someone dribbled a big blob of buff cat on my kitchen floor. (Yes, I know; we're working on Abby's weight. Food is under control, now it's all about exercise. A concept which, having been confined for 3 months in one room because he's one of the new kids, he doesn't understand. He merely follows me around the house and parks himself on the floor at my feet. I think he wants to make sure I don't forget to feed him...)

Aaaahhhhh, sunshine...

Another sun worshipper.

Best way to birdwatch, if you're a house cat.