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Mimic harassment

August 10, 2018 - Today was the once-a-month-or-so time to visit the town dump, and, with the trash and recyclables deposited in their pro...
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Easy parking

August 05, 2018 - Going to the beach on a hot Sunday summer morning was probably an act of insanity, even though I had left early enough t...
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Spicy return

July 22, 2018 - This past spring, we had a reasonably decent emergence of Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies. To be sure, it was later an...
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Astilbe mystery

June 21, 2018 - I love a good mystery, particularly one that involves insect identification. Usually, however, I manage to solve the mys...
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Red-spotted perfection

June 17, 2018 - At first glance, I was sorely tempted to dismiss this little gem as yet another Spicebush Swallowtail, the butterfly spe...
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At the swallowtail bar

June 04, 2018 - It was a banner year for an earlier-spring flowering shrub known as the Spicebush. It was a great 2017 for the plant's s...
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Another second

April 18, 2018 - As a naturalist, I'm always looking for firsts, but I've already discovered the year's first butterfly—the Mourning Cloa...
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Beetle walkabout

February 11, 2018 - The temperatures were well into the 50s, the rains had swollen the creeks and rivers, and any traces of snow and ice wer...
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Early bug

January 22, 2018 - It was warm today, almost ridiculously so, with temps in the 50s and an inordinate amount of melting going on. After nig...
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The night of the Polyphemus

June 09, 2017 - I almost missed this miracle. It was getting on towards midnight, the Sox had somehow hung on to win over Detroit—a diff...
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Emergence, bumblebee-style

April 14, 2017 - I was torn, this morning, between duty to my heart, and, well, my heart: translation: I needed to actually work out, rat...
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Early May... fly

April 12, 2017 - "Summer" arrived out of nowhere, and the temperature quickly leapt into the 70s with abundant sunshine, garden flowers a...
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Furnace at work

February 18, 2017 - More than half-a-century ago, when I first started to study the natural world, things were neatly divided into cold-bloo...
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Last ode on the wing?

November 22, 2016 - One of my favorite, if a bit bittersweet, autumn monitoring tasks is to find and photograph the year's last Meadowhawk d...
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Old Blue Eyes, redux

September 29, 2016 - It hasn't been a very good year for Spreadwing Damselflies, the members of the odonate suborder Zygoptera whose fore- an...
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Well-armed pest

August 17, 2016 - Some discoveries do not fill me with something approaching joy, but when I discovered this rather rotund beetle defoliat...
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Sexual gymnastics

August 12, 2016 - Using the proverbial "birds and the bees" to introduce the world of sex to your kids has its perils. There's the fact th...
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Great punctuation

July 28, 2016 - More often than not, I've seen a wide enough variety of flora and fauna that I don't have to repeat myself. A fern needn...
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Nymph trail

July 26, 2016 - I am at an advanced enough age that the very notion on getting on the trail—any trail—in search of wood nymphs is both m...
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Dragons, beware

July 23, 2016 - When a knight wanted to prove his mettle, one sure-fire test was to go out into the hinterlands to find and slay a drago...
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Indelicate dining

July 23, 2016 - Beautiful butterflies don't always do beautiful things... at least, not to our eyes—and tastes. Case in point: I was hel...
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Who's that Lady?

July 20, 2016 - Whenever I spot a butterfly whose identity I'm not certain of, I'm increasingly careful not to dismiss it as, well, in b...
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Happy surprise

July 01, 2016 - This morning found me at my old haunt, the Miner refuge in Stonington, where I'd spent parts of 2013 and 2014 working on...
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A new swallowtail

June 16, 2016 - If I had been an English major in the 1960s when I first tried college, I would have learned a skill called "close readi...
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Here's clicking at ya, kid

June 15, 2016 - Nature can sometimes be startling. Indeed, sometimes nature is designed to be startling. And if you ever needed proof of...
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Elfin to elfin

April 27, 2016 - My granddaughter Stasia's in residence this week—school vacation—and we finally got in our obligatory hike up Lantern Hi...
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Iced spice

April 05, 2016 - Winter Storm Ursula bid us a fond farewell—OK, I was fond of the chance to get in a few more laps around my cross-countr...
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Insect fakery

March 17, 2016 - The first bees have already emerged from their winter hibernacula, and not long behind them, their mimics are out and ab...
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Lep emergence

March 15, 2016 - These days, I have an agenda whenever I head out for a walk... and finding the first Mourning Cloak butterfly is always...
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Unexpected renewal

January 12, 2016 - I shouldn't have been surprised to find a stonefly on the steel railing of a local bridge over now-energetic waters, but...
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The end of the blues?

September 19, 2015 - The butterflies are rapidly becoming fewer and farther between, and on a number of recent forays, the only lepidopterans...
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Bedraggled

September 15, 2015 - In attempting to put together each year's natural history phenology, I'm always on the lookout for the firsts and lasts...
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Asteroid arrival

September 14, 2015 - If I had my life to live over, I would have become an environmental biology teacher and spent my career informing kids a...
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An unexpected heron

September 08, 2015 - As a result of far too many Great Blue Herons missed, I have learned to approach the millpond dam and waterfall warily,...
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Nature's medicine cabinet

September 04, 2015 - I was finally able to push my body past an overgrowth of vegetation—an overgrowth that no doubt harbored an abundance of...
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Way-past-Spring Azure

September 03, 2015 - The wild asters are putting on a great show, and a number of bumblebees and butterflies are coming by daily to admire an...
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Frits after dark

August 28, 2015 - By day, the Great Spangled Fritillary procession, the best I've ever seen, continues, although it's starting to slow dow...
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The start of the swarm

August 26, 2015 - As I walked past the doomed field across the street, I noticed, in what is still left of the meadow towards the still-sh...
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Addled Dragonhunter

August 23, 2015 - I headed out on my late afternoon, diminished-risk-of-sunburn walk to the millpond where, I knew from past experience, I...
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Underwing season

August 23, 2015 - Given that the anti-Lyme medication I'm on has left me more vulnerable to horrendous sunburning than is typical—when my...
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New and improved

August 18, 2015 - Joy sometimes comes unexpected and in small packages. This was certainly the case around noon time, when, feeling very s...
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Like birds on wires

August 13, 2015 - For the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that the phone and electric lines have started to sag under the weight of Tre...
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Tigers in the midst

August 08, 2015 - I've seen these insects before, but I've never bothered to identify them. Actually, I bothered to misidentify them, dism...
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Finally, spinosus

August 07, 2015 - This has been a funny year for dragonflies, and, while I have no real scientific way of proving this, I think my sightin...
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ASAP

August 06, 2015 - There's something amazing in the early August air: the powerful perfume of Clethra alnifolia. I'm not sure there's any s...
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Skimming success

August 05, 2015 - If I'm ever to get good at the identification business, I'm going to have to get into serious collecting and never leave...
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Natural development

August 04, 2015 - I'd forgotten that Paper Wasps, one of the master builders of the natural world, actually do craft nests in the wild, ra...
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The odonate nightmare

August 02, 2015 - The Dragonhunters, those huge—they're our largest clubtailed odonate—nightmares, have started patrolling the pools and s...
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The last flasher

July 30, 2015 - As has been too often the case in recent years, there have been very few fireflies lighting up the dusk and the night. T...
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Odonate orgy

July 28, 2015 - The Powdered Dancer damselflies, a large and unusually robust species with very white thoraxes, have been active in the...
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White on black

July 23, 2015 - One of the best places to making observations, besides on my daily treks, is to just walk out the kitchen door and, at n...
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A sign of Pileateds

July 19, 2015 - The temperature neared 90 this afternoon, and though I just kept going with the outdoor tasks and managed to split my da...
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Pelidnota on post

July 18, 2015 - I'd seen plenty of Spotted Pelidnotas, those large but not especially showy members of the Scarab Beetle family, by the...
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Silver-spotted spectacular

July 16, 2015 - I'd figured on zeroing in on moths for the upcoming National Moth Week festivities, but on today's foray into the Bell C...
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Moth magnet

July 15, 2015 - National Moth Week, an endeavor designed to "celebrate the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths" around the world,...
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A looming threat

July 09, 2015 - I guess I take bumblebees for granted. They're always around, happily pollinating a myriad of plants and doing the job o...
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Carrion baggage

July 07, 2015 - Sometimes I have to walk great distances to find a suitable scene to highlight; other times, I just have to hang out the...
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Halloween in July

July 02, 2015 - I was on a mission today. First on the list was a trip to the dump to drop off the recyclables and the true trash, which...
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Lord Baltimore's butterfly

June 21, 2015 - I was asked recently to help put together a photo album for an old acquaintance whose memory is fading. The idea is that...
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They're back

June 20, 2015 - Sometimes an accident turns out for the best... and then there are the Gypsy Moths. The happy accident is this photograp...
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Beautiful newcomer

June 18, 2015 - This is a Red-spotted Purple butterfly, and one of the first of these beauties to put in an appearance. I discovered it...
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Don't try this at home

June 14, 2015 - A host of newly minted dragonflies have been emerging from the water over the past week, and they all seem to have one t...
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Dot-tailed redux

June 12, 2015 - Today was dump day, and that usually means a reward: a trek up Lantern Hill, the trailhead of which is just down the hil...
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The first fritillary

June 10, 2015 - The first bellflowers of the year have opened in the meadow across the street, and where there are campanulas, there wil...
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Hovering

June 07, 2015 - One of these days I will, I resolve, get good, really good, with the hover flies. But that day hasn't arrived yet, and i...
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On the trail

June 06, 2015 - Most of my daily walks are done solo. It's not that I'm anti-social, it's just a matter of scheduling. Essentially, I hi...
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Dark jewel

June 05, 2015 - This is not the first of the Ebony Jewelwing damselflies to pay us a visit—they've been on the wing, the dark wing, for...
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Almost adult

June 03, 2015 - Blue Dasher dragonflies are common as dirt around here, and they just might be our most abundant species, with Pondhawks...
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Sweet William after rain

June 02, 2015 - The rain eased up late in the afternoon, too late for a long walk, but with a little bit of sun shining through the clou...
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The skipper parade starts

May 30, 2015 - On a beautifully sunny day—perfect weather, if not for the looming drought (several days of solid rain would be even mor...
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A genuine pearl

May 22, 2015 - The Phyciodes group of butterflies—a.k.a., the Crescents—are found mostly south and west of us, but one species, the Pea...
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Damsel undistressed

May 17, 2015 - I have been looking for damselflies, those more-slender cousins of dragonflies, for about a week, and this morning, the...
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Elfin identified... I think

May 11, 2015 - I went back to the Bell Cedar Swamp refuge in the early afternoon to try to spot more odonates, but, except for one quic...
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Lepidopteran punctuation

May 05, 2015 - I thought today would be the first dragonfly day, and I headed out to the Henne preserve hopeful of coming home with the...
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The hummers are back

May 03, 2015 - I put the snazzy hummingbird feeder that I received for my birthday last year up on my May 1 birthday this year, and yes...
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Bee-ing a mimic

April 30, 2015 - I love bee flies, and every time they start arriving—typically late April or early May—I grab my camera to try to captur...
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Up close and personal

April 14, 2015 - With genuine warmth in the air, the early blooming flowers are filled with all manner of hymenopterans. I've spotted a f...
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A lot of gall

January 18, 2015 - If you spend any time hiking through overgrown, weedy fields after the frosts have laid claim to most of the leaves, you...
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Mantis eggs at last

January 14, 2015 - For a good part of the late summer and early fall, I spent a fair amount of time combing the overgrown fields of the Bel...
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No Thanksgiving moths

November 25, 2014 - I've been looking for the moths represented by the two at the top and middle of the image for a couple of weeks now, and...
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Rumors of my demise...

November 23, 2014 - It was ridiculously warm this afternoon—low 60s—and after I'd trekked uphill at Babcock Ridge and again spotted very, ve...
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Wall paper... wasps

October 21, 2014 - As quickly as the temperature dropped yesterday, it started rising again today, and by the afternoon, we were entering I...
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Early witches

October 17, 2014 - One of the prettiest trees on display during the autumn color extravaganza is the Witch-hazel, a ubiquitous hardwood tha...
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All gussied up

October 09, 2014 - After way too long an absence—almost two months—I hauled myself back to my natural history "home-away-from-home": the Th...
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In constant motion

September 24, 2014 - The drought is deepening—according to the US Drought Monitor, we've made the frightening transition into the light green...
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The watcher

September 22, 2014 - On most of my walks, I'm the one doing the watching, but when I was trekking through a Bracken-Fern-overrun cemetery, I...
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The swarmers

September 18, 2014 - Yesterday, I wrote about the giant cloud of tiny insects that rose en masse out of the no-longer-hayed field across the...
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The swarm

September 16, 2014 - It was a warm, late-summer day, and, alas, another indoor-work day, mostly on writing, so my walking had to be curtailed...
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A question answered

September 16, 2014 - I spent most of today inside, specifically, inside the computer lab of our local middle school where I had the incredibl...
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Goldenrod gem

September 15, 2014 - I am woefully deficient when it comes to identifying members of the vast insect order Coleoptera, but earlier this summe...
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The colorful dagger

September 10, 2014 - In Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America —the best book imaginable on the subject—University of Connecticut author...
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Punk flies

September 05, 2014 - The first genuine summer weather is upon us, with temperatures approaching 90 and humidity levels in that neighborhood....
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Butterfly bush as advertised

August 24, 2014 - Butterfly bush is supposed to be a floriferous lepidopteran magnet, and in the plant ads and, no doubt, at White Flower...
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