Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14, 2010

A beautiful hot summer afternoon. The backyard house wren keeps a close eye on me, flying from the spruce in the corner to the hydrangea bush, chattering all the while. There seems to be another pair down the hill in my neighbor's yard. I hear them nearly all the time this summer.

Farther down the hill, the field is in full sun. A male goldfinch sings from the highest perch he can find. There's a group of 4 males flying around together, probably defending territory. The females are nesting now that the thistle has seeded.

The teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) is blooming this week and attracting a lot of insects. This is a silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus). Its caterpillars feed on legumes at night. There's plenty of clover and a couple of locust trees around, so they're probably in good shape.

Suddenly a group of hummingbird moths (Hemaris thysbe) flew in. There were at least 3 or 4 of them on the teasel, and just as suddenly they were gone. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but they very closely resemble hummingbirds.

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