Sunday, September 19, 2010

Volo Bog - 9.04.10 - Post 6

Last post of the Volo Bog hike!

Migratory: It Doesn't Just Explain What It Does
See, this is the thing about how some species are named - they are descriptive, but you don't think you've found the actual name.

This is a Migratory Grasshopper.  I kept looking at websites and going, "Great, it migrates, but what kind is it???"  Turns out that it's the name as well as what it does.

Leopard Frog Looks Before He Leaps
Talk about a textbook example.  This is a Northern Leopard Frog.  He's sometimes called a Meadow Frog because he's likely as not going to be found quite a way from standing water.  Which explains this guy hopping right across my path in the middle of the savanna area. 
Bottle Gentian Plant
Another new flower I fell in love with.  This is a Bottle Gentian Plant.  These flowers never open.  Bumblebees are their only pollinators and the bees have to open the flowers themselves to get in and do their thing.  I'm particularly struck by the different color flowers in one cluster.
Shades of Purple and Blue
Here's a close up of the flowers.  Such a magnificent color palate.

Ruffled Robin
I saw a few birds.  I got good pictures of almost none. I think one that I did get a bad shot of may have even been an owl, but I really can't tell, it's so bad.  Most of them are smart enough to stay in the trees, but that means that you're shooting backlit animals no matter where the sun is.

Anyway, this robin just hopped down in front of me.  When I was a kid, we would have called this guy (who's a juvenile in the process of getting his adult feathers) a "Robin Red-Breast", but apparently kids these days snicker too much because all the websites now say "American Robin."  I guess it's along the same line as beavers now living in 'lodges' instead of 'dams'.

Vertical Stripes
Yes, another Lobelia.  But this one has folded up on itself, giving it a striking striped effect.
The Moth That Came in from the Cold
This guy wasn't in the nature preserve at all.  He was hanging out on the inside of my apartment building door when I was leaving for the bog!

Again, if I hadn't seen the name of it while looking for something else, I probably would have assumed it was a bright beetle or something, but it is in fact an adult moth!  It's an Ailanthus Webworm Moth.  You can see what he'd look like with his wings out here.  These things are apparently everywhere from Costa Rica to Canada, but I'm pretty sure I'd never seen one before this guy got into my building.

Okay, that's it for the end of summer/early fall hike at the bog.  I'm heading back in early October to drop off some photos for a contest, so we'll see what changes happen between the seasons.

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