Shelob and Frodo

Wednesday, September 27, 2017,

20170908093155 (1)-5x7wtww30

Dear reader, after two flowery posts of, well, flowers, I felt we needed something a bit grittier. Something to keep us all grounded. I never promised anyone a rose garden, or all Asters either. Beauty comes in all shapes, even gruesome ones. I came across this scene in one of the fields at Avalon Park and Preserve. I had just seen a mother Goldfinch feeding one of her fledglings and I was thinking that was a cool thing to see when Mother Nature presented me with another treat.

20170908093300 (1)-5x7wtww30 This spider and her prey put me in mind of Shelob, the spider from the Lord of the Rings story. For those of you who didn’t read the books or see the movies, Shelob is a monstrous spider that pretty much captures and eats anyone or anything that comes her way. She captures Frodo, one of the heroes of the story and then she…. She tells you to read the book ’cause it’s a great tale.

20170908100332 (1)-5x7awtww30JK

Another Aster

Saturday, September 23, 2017,

20170908094219 (1)-3x5awtww30This is a New England Aster, the same kind of flower that was featured in my previous post. Click on the photo to see a larger version. I’d like to thank my friend Sue Avery for identifying these flowers for me. Sue, who is a Master Gardener, makes nearly all of the plant identifications that I post here at Joe Kayaker. When I post a pic of a butterfly, chances are that Sue is the person who told me the name of the flower that butterfly is perched on. Sue has her own blog, The Tangled Wood, in which she shares her own observations of nature. It makes for a good read and I wholeheartedly recommend that you check it out. JK


Female Orchard Oriole at Avalon

Friday, September 8, 2017,

20170812094847 (1)-5x7awtww30

This is a female Orchard Oriole at Avalon Park and Preserve. I took this pic during a bird walk with the Four Harbors Audubon Society. This bird was spotted and identified by Luci Betti-Nash, who leads the monthly walks at both Avalon and Frank Melville Memorial Park. These walks, which¬†take place on the second Saturday of each month are very informative on a wide range of subjects from botany to zoology. It’s not just about birds with this bunch. Our regular walkers include ornithological geniuses, Master Gardeners, and even an expert on insects. I, of course, provide the comic relief. Look, someone has to do it, and it’s the only reason they let me tag along. We have two walks tomorrow, Saturday, September 9, 2017. Maybe you’d like to join us. Click here for more information about the meeting times and locations. JK

Honeybee In A Bindweed Flower

Thursday, September 7, 2017,

20170709090420-5x7awtww30This is a honeybee in a bind. A Bindweed Flower, that is. This flower looks remarkably like the Morning Glory which is a very close relation. First cousins, if you will. In fact a couple of people that I showed these pics to thought it was a Morning Glory. Luckily, I have a Master Gardener in my corner, the amazing Sue Avery, who makes most of my plant IDs. Without Sue, this post reads, “This is a bee in a white flower.” Sue is one of the folks that let me sound informed and somewhat interesting. It takes a whole team to accomplish this task and Sue is a key player on that team. Anytime I mention a plant or flower by name, it’s a safe bet that I’ve run it past Sue first.¬†

20170709090420-5x7wtww30JK