The days are still pretty warm here in the northeast! We've had several days in the 80's, but it's gradually cooling off. It made it down in the 50's last night and in the mid 60's today. It's been very dry around here as well. We never did get any rain from Hurricane Florence that went through the Carolinas last week and they continue to receive damage from the rising rivers. Our prayers go out to those families and businesses that have been ravaged by the devastating rains and floods.
The leaves on the trees have a hint of fall colors in them, but most of the leaves appear to be drying up, turning brown or a very dull yellow. They look very crisp and I'm not sure whether or not there will be much colorful fall foliage to speak of.
The crickets singing in the fields have replaced the songbirds who have left for their wintering grounds in the south. I hope they didn't get blown off of their flight pattern by the hurricane. We're still seeing some Monarch butterflies, and it's also been reported that there are still Monarch caterpillars in the area so that's a wonderful sign. We have seen several Monarch butterflies this year and their large numbers have been reported in other areas as well. That's great news!
The countryside is now starting to smell with the scent of the tag alders' dying leaves. After a heavy frost they can get really stinky (to me, anyway). Once in awhile you might smell the fragrant flowers of wild Joe Pye-weed. This is a very beneficial plant to bees and butterflies. I purchased some of the miniature Joe Pye-weed once, and planted them, but we have so many wild ones around here in the fields that I didn't bother to fuss with them and they died out. I really think they needed more sun than where I planted them and sun is at a premium in our yard in Mexico, New York.
We haven't had a frost yet. That's a good thing. During one night we got down in the 40's, but so far so good. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. After a heavy frost around here the fields turn brown and that's it for the wild flowers.
I was rewarded (???) this year for seeing some unusual moths and bugs. First time seeing some of them and I had no clue what they were so I "Googled" them and looked under the "images" and was able to identify the Beautiful Wood Nymph Moth (which I don't know where they came up with that name. It was actually pretty creepy looking to me) and the Azalea Sphinx Moth, however, I'm not sure that that is a positive identification on that moth. I'm not a bug expert (as a matter of fact I was never that interested in them), but these guys showed up this year and thought I'd share them with you. Another moth that Ted spotted when he opened our shed door was the Celery Looper Moth. I got help identifying this moth from one of the photography groups that I'm in on Facebook. I spent quite a bit of time trying to identify that one.
The Beautiful Wood Nymph Moth was spotted on the frame of our back door. I had no idea what it was. It didn't even look like a bug or moth to me. It actually looked like some burnt marshmallows from a campfire but we did not have any recent campfires or marshmallows (I can't keep marshmallows in the house because our grandchildren love them). So after I did a search on the internet I was able to identify it. I was looking for a link to post here for you for additional information but there doesn't seem to be much other than pictures, but I did find this quote on Wikipedia rather amusing about the Beautiful Wood Nymph Moth: "Adult is visually comparable to bird droppings, presumably beneficial for camouflage". Sounds about right to me!
|Beautiful Wood Nymph|
The Azalea Sphinx Moth looked like a dead leaf to me. I was out watering our window boxes and I was picking off some dead leaves when the leaf I was going to pick off wasn't a leaf, but a moth. Nature is so unique in disguising insects and animals to keep predators from harming them. Azalea Sphinx Moth
|Azalea Sphinx Moth|
|In this photo it shows where I thought the moth was part of a |
dead leaf and I was going to break it off.
|Ted found this guy hanging on one of our beach umbrellas |
in the shed. Celery Looper Moth
And another bug that I saw that caught my eye because I thought it was a leaf blowing around, but leaves don't blow up into flowers, was a Katydid. It looks so much like a leaf that if I didn't see it land on this perennial I wouldn't have been able to find it. Katydid
|Katydid. This guy is pretty well camouflaged, too. Nature is so amazing!|
Another moth that we've seen before is the Hummingbird Moth (also called the Clearwing Moth). We've been seeing these moths for quite a few years now. It actually flutters around like a Hummingbird and isn't much smaller than one, but it's definitely a moth. Ted got a great picture (below) of this moth. Hummingbird Moth (Clearwing Moth)
|Hummingbird Moth (Clearwing Moth)|
Well, hope you are not too freaked out with some of the photos, but just thought I'd share some interesting things that were spotted in our yard this season! Happy Fall, Ya'll!
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.
Drop me a line in the comments if you'd like!