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.


 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.

A Bad Day For Mr. Mantis

Sunday, October 9, 2016,


This is not why I’m single but it certainly is food for thought. And for female Praying Mantises. I got these shots during yesterday’s Four Harbors Audubon Society birding walk at Avalon Preserve. Please take note of Mr. Mantis’s missing head and of the severed leg that Mrs. Mantis is grasping in her right front leg. Is that a forelimb or foreplay? Mr. Mantis was enjoying a terrific morning and then the check came. Next time bring cash. By the way, the participants are still conjoined. He may have lost his head but Mr. Mantis remembered why he came to the party.





Black Swallowtail

Wednesday, September 14, 2016,


Here’s a shot I took at Sweetbriar Nature Center at the end of July. Sweetbriar, located in Smithtown, has its own Butterfly House but this Black Swallowtail is not a tenant there. Instead, this is a free-range butterfly, one Long Island’s indigenous treasures. I found it atop this Milkweed flower while I was walking through one of the open fields at Sweetbriar. The Butterfly House has many very cool specimens but to find this beauty all you may need to do is look in your back yard. JK