Monday, June 27, 2011

Some Neat Finds

While walking through the yard and woods on Sunday, I came across some neat things:

Just as I left the house, I noticed a small butterfly nectaring on the common milkweed along the driveway. At first, I took it for one of the ubiquitous Little Glassywings, but when I took a second look, I realized the shape was all wrong. Closer inspection revealed that it was a Banded Hairstreak, a small, woodland species that I had never seen in the yard before! The caterpillars of this species feed on the leaves of various oak and hickory species, both of which are common in the woods around the yard.

Along the edge of the woods, I came across this tiny American Toad crossing the path. This time of year, numerous toads and frogs can be found hopping through the woods as they leave the ponds and pools in which they were born.

In a meadow at the top of the property, I noticed an interesting insect sitting on a dried grass blade. This insect turned out to be this beautiful Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth (Lycomorpha pholus).

As I continued along the path, I found a small yellow and black beetle sitting on a gray birch leaf. This little beetle is a Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetle (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata), one of the coolest looking "ladybugs" in my opinion.

As I reached the end of the property, I turned over a few rocks to look for salamanders, spiders, or whatever I could find. Under one of the larger rocks, I found this Northern Ringneck Snake. This is a fairly common species in the region, but one that is infrequently encountered because it hides under rocks and fallen logs.

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