Archive for the 'Fieldnotes' Category

Spider Year

It’s the one year anniversary, more or less, of the spider who stayed out in the cold. This big Araneus diadematus orb-weaver had her web(s) outside one of our windows for three months last fall.We only saw her eating once in that time.

All B&B spider adventures can be seen here. The current indoor spider census, which is admittedly not thorough: two.

Bat Outta Green-Wood

About three weeks ago, I was surprised by a bat in Green-Wood batting around in the early afternoon. It zipped about in a clearing for a moment or three.
It was an Eastern Red (Lasiurus borealis). Too bad I was in the bat’s shadow.

Just heard about a more recent sighting: warm days can bring them out, but is there enough for them to eat?

The Eastern Red Bat is not one of the species that migrate to spend winters in cave hibernacula. They will move to warmer climates, for instance into the southeast. But now that it’s so damn warm up here, too, will they stick around? When it does get cold, they can burrow into the leaf litter (huh!) and enter a state of torpor for short periods of time.

Raptor Wednesday

This was quite a drama. Several Blue Jays chasing a Sharp-shinned Hawk from tree to tree in Green-Wood. The hawk couldn’t escape the persecution.There was no perch free from the jays.The noise, of course, was terrific. There’s nothing like Blue Jays for alarums and excursions of the vocal kind. The hawk eventually moved on. It’s a tough neighborhood.


Did you see this well-written piece on the insect apopcyalpse? Please check it out.


When last we saw a Tufted Titmouse on this blog, it was eating a dead Winter Wren. That was surprising. But here we’re back to a more regular diet, of seeds and nuts in winter; this bird briefly emerged from a thick conglomeration of shrubbery with something edible in bill.There were three in the thicket, but only one came out in the bold.These birds will often take the largest seeds they can find, hold them between their feet, and hammer at them with their bills to open them up. They will also make a racket of alarm calls if predators are near. Always listen to the birds!

Revealed by The Fall

One day this summer I saw and heard several Baltimore Orioles around this linden. It was so thickly leafed I couldn’t see a nest, but it was pretty clear there was one in there.Woven from grasses and human garbage, suspended like a flapper’s purse. These things always surprise me because they seem so improbable as egg- and nestling-containers.A more “traditional” nest structure, seemingly never completed.Paper wasp nest, from the same tree, if I’m not mistaken, as last year. The queen, the only member of the hive to overwinter, didn’t stray far.

While the Trump freakshow storms, kleptocrats destroy the state. An introduction to the destruction of government under Trump.

New Perch

Late Skipper

November 7th was a warm day. This skipper could smell the buddleia as well as I could, probably better.The double-barreled tongue can be seen here relatively well.


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