Monarch Butterfly On Butterfly Weed

Tuesday, August 15, 2017,

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This is a Monarch Butterfly. That was the easy part: Even I know what a Monarch Butterfly looks like. What I needed help with was the identification of those cool orange flowers. Luckily, I know an expert in all things green and growing. My friend Sue Avery, writer of the blog The Tangled Wood, identified this plant as Butterfly Weed. Apparently, these flowers attract all sorts of butterflies, not just Monarchs. They’re a real crowd pleaser. JK

Halloween Pennant at Avalon

Saturday, July 29, 2017,

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This bad boy is not a boy. It’s a female Halloween Pennant. How do I know this? Am I an expert on dragonflies? No, but I do know someone who is. Three years ago I needed help identifying a dragonfly I had seen on the south shore.A friend of mine put me in touch with an expert from the New York Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey. Annette made the identification and I came out sounding informed. This is not an easy trick. I reached out to her after I took this photo and Annette was gracious enough to help me out again. When she’s not bailing out clueless photographers, Annette is involved with  the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society as well as writing several blogs, one of which has to do with dragonflies. I invite all of you to visit her at Dragonfly Dazed. She takes wonderful photographs of these very cool insects. JK

Racing Stripes

Monday, June 19, 2017,

This is a White Slant-line Moth on a Dame’s Rocket. I am not making that up. I mean, White Slant-line? For real? How boring is that? I looked up the guy that named this beautiful moth and it turns out he was a lawyer, so maybe that explains it. Hard to say.

20170602100944-5x7w2twwNow, Dame’s Rocket, that’s a moniker and a half. I got nothing to say about that, except maybe, Vrrooom! Clearly, the person that named this pretty little flower is much more interesting than the moth guy.

I’d like to thank my good friend Sue Avery for identifying both the moth and the purple flowers. Sue has been my main go-to expert for anything botanical for the past year. Sue has her own blog, The Tangled Wood, which is really beautifully written. Check her out, you won’t be disappointed. None of that wiseguy stuff that you find here, Just wonderful prose and some very nice photographs. JK

Golden Opportunity! Limited Time Offer!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016,

No, I’m not trying to sell you anything. Honest.

However, this is a golden opportunity with a limited time availability. Do you guys know that big, beautiful Cedar Tree (it might be a Juniper) that is in the upper farm fields, South-West across Shep Jones Lane from the Barn? A couple years back there was a working hive inside the tree complete with a sign warning folks to be careful near the tree. Well, the tree has been re-colonized and if you time it just right you can get a glimpse of a beautiful sight. Truly golden.

20161026095225-5x7wtThis morning, the show started just before 10 AM. It’s not an instantaneous thing – in fact the window of opportunity lasts just over an hour – but it is a limited time sort of thing. Too soon or too late and you’ll miss it. Also, you need a cloudless or partly cloudy sky. There’s no show without direct sunlight. Trust me, I checked. Even the shadow of the nearby branches can block it. You’ll see the honeybees but not the gold and the gold is the reason check out this sight. It’s worth the trip. I think it’s magical, and when you see it, I think you’ll agree.

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 This is a shot of one of the honeybees at the edge of the hole in the tree that houses the honeycomb. That golden orb beyond this bee is the honeycomb, just out of focus. This thing is beautiful even when it’s blurry. It truly is a sight to see. Don’t miss it. JK.