27 September 2016

Wildflower - Venice Mallow

I was walking around a corn field on our property when I found a wildflower I hadn't seen before. I did a little research on the Internet and soon found information on this wildflower. The wildflower is Venice Mallow (Hibiscus trionum), also known as Flower-of-an-hour and Rosemallow.



Venice Mallow is a summer annual weed that originated from Europe as an ornamental plant. It has a nick name “flower of-an-hour” due to the fact that the flowers will only last for a few hours before they fall off. The major concern with this plant is the fact that it can lay dormant for up to 50 years.

Venice Mallow is listed as invasive weed and is being tracked by http://www.invasiveplantatlas.org. This site has an interactive map that gives county by county reporting of invasive plants and animals. Venice Mallow has only been reported twice in Bradford county.

26 September 2016

Harvest Time

The weather is getting cooler and its time to harvest some of the vegetables I planted last spring. I planted 7 or 8 butternut squash plants last spring and used the front end loader to haul the crop from the garden. There were about 50 squash in the loader bucket.



In the past I would get my sweet potato plants from a local garden supply store but last spring I tried propagating my our sweet potato from some of the prior year's sweet potatoes. It looks like my sweet potatoes plants did Okay.



Some of the larger potatoes.

23 September 2016

Wildflower - Hedge Bindweed

Walking along the road on our cabin property it is easy to find the invasive wild morning glory know as Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium). This native annoying flowering vine grows quickly up to 10' long and often climbs over other plants, shrubs, and fences.



The large trumpet-shaped flowers are produced from late spring to the end of summer. The flowers are pale pink with five darker stripes, or white.



21 September 2016

Apple Blossom Time ???

I was driving around our cabin property today, checking on the wildlife food plots, when I noticed something strange with one of the apple trees, it had blossoms on it. This year's weather was hard on the apple crop and most apples didn't survive the spring frost. The apples that survived were then hit with weeks of hat dry weather which cause many apples to drop from the trees. I'm not sure what triggered these blossoms.



The one and only apple on this tree is small due to the dry weather.



Apple blossom at the top of the photo and the only apple at the bottom.

18 September 2016

Evan Reed Beebe

Our new grandson, Evan Reed Beebe was born on Saturday September 17th at 1:12AM. Evan weighed in at 7 lbs 5oz. and is 19 inches long. This is Matt & Lexi's first child, our second grandchild and our first grandson.



Evan was only hours old when these photos were taken and he needed some rest.



Time for Evan to start putting mommy on his feeding schedule.



Evan with Grandma.

17 September 2016

Hawk-moth Caterpillar

I was digging potatoes in my garden when I came across this large caterpillar and I needed an excuse to stop digging for a while. This is the caterpillar of the Bedstraw Hawk-Moth (Hyles gallii), also known as Galium Sphinx moth. This caterpillar was about 3 inches long the moth can have a wingspan of almost the same length.



Hawk-moths (Sphinx Moths) are in the family Sphingidae and the caterpillars of all members of the family possess a caudal horn on their tail end.

When I returned to digging potatoes I found a second Hawk-moth Caterpillar but it was much smaller.

16 September 2016

Praying Mantis

Most years I'm lucky to find one or two praying mantises but I've already found 5 or 6.



This one is a pregnant female European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) that will be laying its eggs soon.



A close-up of the praying mantis head and front leg.

15 September 2016

The Planes ... The Planes ...

While I was mowing along the driveway to our cabin on Tuesday when I looked up and thought we were under attack. Three large USAF C-17 Globemaster III planes were flying low and heading straight at me.



Photos of the planes as they passed overhead.



The planes were low enough to see "USAF" on the underside of the left wing.



14 September 2016

They're Back ...

As I drove by my neighbor's house on my tractor I noticed some Bald Faced Hornet's (Dolichovespula maculata) were rebuilding a new nest in the same location as the nest I had removed just a few days ago.



I would have liked to take a few more photos of the hornets building the nest, but more hornets appeared at the nest as I continued to photograph. All it took was one hornet to buzz me and bounce off and it was time to remove the new nest.

10 September 2016

Changing with the Seasons

As we head into Autumn the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler and the deer in the neighborhood are shedding their reddish summer coats and getting their warmer brown winter coats.



This doe has shed almost all of its summer coat and has shiny new winter coat.



This young buck has shed most of its summer coat and will soon shed the velvet covering from it's first set of antlers. The tip of the buck's left antler is protruding through the velvet covering.



The spots on one of this year's fawns are starting to fade as the fawn starts to shed its summer coat.


09 September 2016

Hornet's Nest

We got a phone call from one of our neighbors that they had a "bee's nest" in a tree by their house and next to Joyce Road. They didn't know how to remove the nest and needed some assistance.

The nest was located in a cedar tree and hanging about 6 1/2 feet above the township road. It was a Bald Faced Hornet's (Dolichovespula maculata) nest and a potential safety hazard for the homeowner and people walking along Joyce Road.



Bald Faced Hornets are large, aggressive relatives of the yellowjackets and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space. They are most active on warm summer days and it was in the 90F's today. I neutralized the hornets and removed the nest.



Bald Faced Hornet grow to 3/4 inch long and are easy to recognize because of the black and white color pattern on their head and thorax.



07 September 2016

Marbled Orbweaver Spider

(People with arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, can in some cases have reactions triggered by just the image of a spider. To view my images of a Marbled Orbweaver Spider just click on the clip art spider.)

I was walking through an overgrown field near our cabin and found the large web of an orbweaver spider in an Autumn Olive tree. Orbweavers are very large spiders that can reach 1 1/4 inches but it often takes some hunting to find the spider after you've found the web. Once the orbweaver creates its web, it will construct a hiding place out of leaves at the edge of the web. The spider monitors vibrations via a “signal strand” attached to the web. I found the spiders hiding place and peeled back the leaves to reveal a Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus).



The abdomen of this Marbled Orbweaver spider.



They have eight eyes arranged in two horizontal rows of four eyes each. The outer pair of eyes are spaced very close together with the other four eyes in the center of the face. Orb weavers are completely harmless to humans and their pets, but still inspire fear in most people.



02 September 2016

Toads

I was doing some clean-up of blown down trees on our West Hill property when I found this toad trying to put some more distance between the two of us.



Maybe he didn't like the sound of my chainsaw.



The colorization of this Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) camouflages the toad with the ground cover.

01 September 2016

Mushrooms

I was doing some work in our woods and noticed an abundance of mushrooms had popped up within the past week.



Some areas were covered so heavily with large 6 to 8 inch mushrooms it was hard to walk without stepping on them.



Here are some of the different mushrooms I found.