Outdoor Notes

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Murder ‘midst the Mint

July 29, 2012

It was a sultry hot summer’s day in late July. The air was redolent of the spicy cool odor of spearmint that filled the wet corner of the garden. Cicadas… [Continued]


Sometimes, I Cheat

July 6, 2012

In general, I have a sort of a “fair-chase” ethos about my photography. No posed subjects, no half-frozen insects (a great way to get them to sit still), etc. Sometimes,… [Continued]


The Pennant Hunt

June 30, 2012

There are four species of Pennants recorded from Pennsylvania. Of these, two are found in our mountains: the Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) and the Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa). These are striking, elegant insects that appear every year about the end of June. They are well known for their habit of perching at the top of a weed or piece of grass and fluttering in the wind, rotating like a windsock as the wind changes.

Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta)

Orchard Orbweavers

June 23, 2012

The body of knowledge, in my humble opinion, is morbidly obese. That said, I think I may have found something to add. I will gladly share the blame with an… [Continued]


On Triumphant Wing

June 19, 2012

I have been watching a small local colony of butterflies for the last five years. In 2007 and 2008, they thrived, but in 2009 there came a flood. I had… [Continued]

Yellow Warbler male

Missing the Yellow Warbler

June 13, 2012

For me, the most compelling creature to attempt to photograph is a wood warbler. The Americas are blessed with these little bits of feathers. Nowhere else on the planet has… [Continued]

Widow Skimmer, fully developed male, (Libellula luctuosa)

Widow Skimmers

June 3, 2012

I started seeing my first Widow Skimmers about ten days ago, in the last week of May. They are one of the most common dragonflies in our area, and they… [Continued]


Ebony Jewelwings (the Fat Guy Gets the Girl)

May 30, 2012

Some critters are very aptly named. Others, well, it can get a little confusing. Case in point, the Ebony Jewelwing. Now, everything in that name is apropos: ebony? the wings… [Continued]


Aurora Damsels

May 14, 2012

There are several species of damselfly that live in and around our local wet areas. They can be extremely difficult to tell apart, and I am often left uncertain as… [Continued]


Return of the Orioles

May 3, 2012

It has been an odd spring. An early warm spell in late March led to early blooming wildflowers and early emerging insects. However, a series of fronts in April have… [Continued]

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