Very wet bumblebee on uderside of sunflower
The sun came out after some showers but things were still wet enough that this bee had not warmed up and dried out yet. You can often find bees, especially bumblebees, clinging to the underside of leaves and flowers, for this is how they sleep, and on wet days, try to shelter from the rain. Sometimes the closed up dried flower heads of Queen Anne's Lace can shelter various insects/
This is one of the birds that was having a great time in a big puddle!
This male teal in eclipse plumage, has been at the FWG pond for several weeks. Initially there were two of them, but after a few days only one was left and has been there consistently since. He is very wary and unlike the mallards and black ducks he quickly scoots away into the cattails at the slightest noise.
Red with walnut
This enterprising little guy has established his empire not far from the Interpretive Centre. A nut-laden walnut tree is home to a newly built grassy nest, while an adjacent nest box has also been taken over. While he was busy shelling one of the large walnuts, another red crept up and with a quick glance up to the branch where this guy was sitting, grabbed a nut from the ground and ran off at top speed, looking, I swear, very pleased with himself. Meanwhile, a little later, a black squirrel loped along and grabbed a nut, which sent this guy into a paroxysm of rage!
Muskrat with cattails
Just before noon I saw this muskrat swimming quite purposefully, west to east across the pond. He went straight to a patch of cattails near the southeast shore and in short order returned, swimming across the pond with a mouthful of cattails. Just before he reached the vicinity of the old beaver den on the north bank, he dove and though I waited for some time, I never did see him emerge. So, he undoubtedly took his bounty into his bank home which may be a refurbished beaver den or another nearby. The muskrats have been in our pond quite steadily for about 3 years, and before that on and off, though more on than off. Initially they built a muskrat lodge of cattails, but since then have used the bank for denning.
Mycena mushroom sp.
When it rains the mushrooms appear, including these ever so tiny Mycena species that grow on trees by the hundreds but are barely visible to the naked eye unless you look closely for them. They are exquisite but difficult to photograph well (sorry).
Red oak leaf with larva
I was looking at the oak leaves, wondering if I might still find some sawfly larvae, and noticed a fine webbing across a tiny patch of white. When I touched the webbing there was movement and a minute larva scuttled up to the top of the white patch (you can just see it if you look hard). Possibly the larva of a micro moth.
American crow with Mountain ash berry
Just on the other side of the cedar hedge in the Arboretum is a row of mountain ash trees. They, along with the ones in the garden, were attracting lots of attention from crows and robins. The crows were also competing with squirrels for the acorns on the ground. A bit of a cheat really, as the poor squirrels do all the work, and the crows make away with the harvest. The squirrels sit up high in the oaks and nip off twigs with leaves and acorns. After a good many have been clipped, they rush down the tree to harvest them.
Northern Cardinal, female
Not as many birds, but the cardinals are more apparent now than they were earlier in the summer and I saw about 6 of these pretty birds. White-throated sparrows are around, golden-crowned kinglets, catbirds still hanging on, lots of robins in the mountain ash trees, and so on!
Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
We have, so far, just one of these shrubs growing at FWG, tucked away out of sight. I first saw it a couple of years ago when it was small, and now it is quite large. I keep forgetting to look at it when it is in flower. However, the berries are by far the most striking part. This is used in many herbal remedies. It is also considered an invasive species in many areas. Thus far, it seems not to have spread, but I'm keeping an eye on it.
Amur maple leaves
They might not be the most desired of trees, given their invasiveness quotient, but nothing can beat them for fall colour!
Jumping spider nest
This delicate silken nest was strung between two milkweed leaves. Inside were many tiny jumping spider babies. You can imagine how small they were (like specks of pepper), because jumping spider adults are tiny! When I touched the nest, not knowing if anything was still in there, about 6 crawled and jumped out, and then retreated back inside. Very cool!