Zooming – September 2017

I spent a lot of time outdoors this month; it’s fall and the weather has been near perfect. The moon was visible in the morning of one of the clear days and I took pictures through frames of leaves. This one is my favorite.

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In the first half of the month the butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens was still open and I have lots of zoomed pictures for that but picked two of the blue morpho for this post. Toward the end it was hard to find one with wings that were not battered and palpi intact. These two are in reasonable shape.

Then there were butterflies out in the gardens. The Mexican sunflowers and cone flowers were popular. Do you see the tree skippers (butterflies) on the yellow cone flowers? Click on the image to get a larger view.

The streams are beginning to be colorful with newly fallen leaves. The macroinvertebrates we search for to assess stream quality love matted, rotting leaves! I like the zoom on my camera that helps me get pictures without putting on my tall boots and wading into the river.

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A large silver maple was cut down this month at Mt. Pleasant (Howard County Conservancy) and I working to count the rings and create material we could use with hikes we do for elementary school children. The saw marks were so deep that it had to be sanded before we count the rings…but insect damage was evident. More on this project as it progresses…

Of course, there are plants that area always a favorite – a graceful curve of a leave with water droplets, a flower turned to face the sun, a rose on a rainy day, a beechnut husk (the goody already eaten by a squirrel), birds hunting the bounty of seeds, and a tangle of succulent.