Gleanings of the Week Ending September 21, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

These Caterpillars Can Detect Color Using Their Skin, Not Their Eyes | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little surprise…but insects probably have a lot of adaptations developed over eons that are challenging to imagine.

Five weird and wonderful ways nature is being harnessed to build a sustainable fashion industry – New dyes from enzymes, ‘leather’ from mushrooms, lacy fabric made from plant roots that grew that way (watch the video), cellulose for fabrics derived from manure!

Aesthetics of skin cancer therapy may vary by treatment type -- ScienceDaily – Hopefully these findings will guide doctors to use the more aesthetic treatments…since they all have about the same recurrence rates a year after treatment.

On the Alabama Coast, the Unluckiest Island in America - Yale E360 – Dauphin Island…when does everyone decide that these places can’t be saved…should not be rebuilt. It’s not something we are dealing with very well as individuals or as a nation.

Deer browsing is not stopping the densification of Eastern US forests -- ScienceDaily – Deer hurt the understory but the canopy is more impacted by the greater density of the big forest trees (because of fire suppression) and that red maples are growing in areas where young oaks, hickories, or pines would have grown previously. But wouldn’t the deer browse young trees? In our area – the forests have also changed quite a lot in the last 20 years with the decline of the hemlocks and now the ashes. This study – done in Pennsylvania – did not comment about those issues.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: September – These photographs are always worth a look….birds are so beautiful.

North America has lost 3 billion birds – And fresh from looking at the wonder pictures of birds….this sobering news: North America has lost 25% of its bird population and it’s all happened in the last 50 years. More than 90% of the loss is in just a dozen bird families that includes the sparrows, warblers, blackbirds, and finches. Grassland birds have suffered a 53% loss. Potential causes: habitat degradation, urbanization, and the use of toxic pesticides.

Staying at elementary school for longer associated with higher student attainment – My daughter didn’t seem to have a problem transferring from elementary to middle school after 5th grade…but the middle school was next door to the elementary school, and she was doing well in school. The results of this research will have to overcome the school building infrastructure in many areas. Change happens slowly with school systems. So far I haven’t seen a change in start times for high schools even though there are studies that say that early starts are not good for high school students (in our area, they have always started before the elementary and middle schools).

Spotted in Kenya: a baby zebra with polka dots – I hope there is a follow up story on this baby. Will the pattern make it more susceptible to fly bites? Another note from the article: Zebras are accepting of difference…animals with atypical coat patterns fit right into the herd.

Drought Reveals Lost “Spanish Stonehenge” – The Dolmen at Guadalperal has resurfaced from the Valdecanas Reservoir in western Spain due to lower lake levels from dry, hot conditions this year. It has been submerged for 50 years. Hopefully someone will make a good 3D tour of the place.

Hummingbird at Brookside

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The day after I saw the Question Mark butterfly at Brookside Gardens, I was back for another shift at the Wings of Fancy exhibit. This time the big ‘find’ out in the gardens was a hummingbird that was on the plants in the area just before the entrance to the exhibit’s caterpillar house. The bird would make a round visiting flowers…then sit.

That made it easy to get pictures. It is a female – probably a female ruby throated hummingbird. All the hummingbirds around here are feeding as much as they can…fattening for the migration flight.

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For those near Montgomery County, Maryland…this is the last weekend for the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside for this year. If you want to see the butterfly exhibit, this is the last chance.  

Question Mark (Butterfly)

Earlier this week I was walking around Brookside Gardens and noticed a flash of orange in the mulch near the orb sculpture…under a Golden Rain Tree. I had my camera and managed to zoom in. It was a butterfly! When it closed its wings, it was well camouflaged in the mulch and dead leaves.

When I got home, I looked at my quick reference card - “Butterflies of the Western Chesapeake (Washington DC, Maryland, & Virginia.” I tentatively identified it as a Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis). The picture on the card was of the underside of the wing (where the “?” is).

There were more pictures of the butterfly on the Maryland Biodiversity Project website and it was easy to confirm the identification. I also learned that the butterfly overwinters as an adults so might be seen in the early spring.

It’s been fun to talk to others that I volunteer with; many had not heard of the Question Mark butterfly!

Brookside Flowers – September 2019

There are a lot of things in bloom at Brookside Gardens in September. The weather is a little cooler and the Roses are blooming profusely again.

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The Angel’s Trumpets – that always remind me of long swirling skirts – are in all stages of their blooms. I like the colors of this one…the crème color with green highlights at the ‘waist’ and then the transition to melon at the ‘floor.’

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The Black Eyed Susan petals start out as tubes!

There are seeds forming a this point too. I always notice the dogwoods – bright red.

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This year I noticed the nuts on the Red Buckeye trees. At first, I thought they were some odd growths on the trees and there are not many of them; perhaps the trees are a little out of their natural range in Maryland.

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And then other flowers that I couldn’t resist photographing with my cell phone. The phone does very well with flower pictures if I can get close enough to the flower for the picture I want!

Some Insects at Brookside Gardens – September 2019

There are always plenty of plants to see during a walk at Brookside Gardens, but I’ve been looking for insects in a few of my short walks before starting my shift inside the butterfly exhibit. The weather has been pleasant…just warm enough for the insects to be active but not overly hot for a walk. I saw an Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly along the walk toward the arrivals area for the butterfly exhibit.  

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A few feet away…about 30 seconds later…I saw a Hummingbird Moth Clearwing. What a great way to start the morning!

The next time I was at the gardens, I walked back to the same area. I photographed 2 different insects but they were not as showy as the dragonfly and hummingbird moth.

I headed up to the salvia garden to see if there were still any hummingbirds feeding on the plants there. I saw a couple of females but didn’t have the right camera to attempt to photograph them. I did see a Common Buckeye taking a break on a gravel path.

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The salvia garden is very popular with bees of all kinds. There were large bees that were nectar robbing because they were too big to get into the flower (sometimes the stems bent a little with the weight of the bee as well). They had shiny abdomens so were probably carpenter bees.

Longwood Gardens – September 2019

Now for the highlights from the rest of the Longwood Gardens. Before the waterlilies we enjoyed the plants around the main entrance to the conservatory.

We always stop at the indoor children’s garden at the very beginning since later it will be a busy place. This time we got there before any families, so it was very quiet. The place it full of accessible water and natural materials made into art.

On the way to the waterlily courtyard, I noticed different colors of cannas and a bird-of-paradise flower.

After the waterlilies we walked through several more ‘rooms’ of the conservatory including one with plantain and banana plants (both with heavy pods of fruit). And the orchid room was there too.

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Then it was outdoors to the trial gardens. They are particularly lush right now after growing all summer. The sunflowers were heavy with the forming seeds.

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We walked to the chimes tower going up the steps of the tower

And then more steps to follow the water to the Eye of Water. Last time we’d come to Longwood, the eye had been closed for renovation, so we wanted to see it this time.

We trekked to the other side of the visitor center for the flower garden walk. There were beginning to be more people around by this time. A hummingbird flew ahead of us but wasn’t stopping for long; too many people about. Just past the Whispering Bench, there were pots with pitcher plants. I remembered them being there last time as well.

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We made our way around the Large Lake to the Italian Water Gardens.  I zoomed in on some of the sculptures. The renovation several years ago is holding up well.

The day was warming up, but we decided to head out to the meadow anyway. The plants are well established now, and we hiked all the way across to the Forest Edge kiosk/bench. I saw taller Joe Pye Weed than I’d ever seen before…lots of goldenrod…a few thistles…skippers and buckeyes…large dragonflies. We were glad to get back to a shady part of the trail. It was a good morning to be at Longwood!

Waterlilies at Longwood Gardens

One of my favorite places at Longwood Gardens in the late summer/early fall is the waterlily courtyard. Last weekend was no exception. It was a sunny day – and not too hot. We had left our house early enough to be at the visitor center about 15 minutes after the gardens opened. There were a couple of groups that had obviously planned to meet others waiting in the building or just a little way into the garden. Everyone was enjoying the prospect of the day at Longwood – just as we were. As usual – we headed for the Conservatory first…..making our way to the waterlilies half way through the conservatory walk through.

The courtyard always has a few photographers and there is usually someone around to answer questions. We were around early enough that it wasn’t crowded. I love catching the bees on the flowers. My favorite picture of the slideshow below is a flower with 4 bees (there were probably more on the inside of the flower)! Waterlilies often look somewhat alien to me because the colors are vibrant, and the flower parts are robust. I love photographing them….and enjoying the images after I get home.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 14, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Radio Tracking a Rare Crayfish – Cool Green Science – There are a lot more species of crayfish than I realized…and they have a bigger role in the stream that I assumed.

Mindfulness for middle school students: Focusing awareness on the present moment can enhance academic performance and lower stress levels -- ScienceDaily – I wonder if ‘mindfulness’ is something we need to teach more overtly now than in the past because technology and daily life tends to push us in ‘unmindful’ ways.

Canadian Canola Fields – I looked at this article because the Bugs101 course that I took recently mentioned the canola fields of Canada (for some reason I had never known very much about Canola as a crop). This article provides more history. It has become a cash crop for Canada in recent decades.

There's a Troubling Rise in Colorectal Cancer Among Young Adults | The Scientist Magazine® - Incidence of colon cancer is falling in older people…but becoming more common in people under 50. It has continued to go up over the past decade. In young adults, the cancer is discovered later too…usually stage 3 or 4.

A Northwest Passage Journey Finds Little Ice and Big Changes - Yale E360 – Lots of changes. Grizzly are moving northward…fewer polar bears…salmon far north of where they used to be…lungworm killing muskox…plastic in ice cores.

Researchers Discover New Family of Viruses | The Scientist Magazine® - The new viruses are found in lung biomes of people that had had lung transplants or have periodontal disease….many times the patients are critically ill. But we don’t know yet if the new family of viruses are linked to disease.

Utah's red rock metronome: Seismic readings reveal Castleton Tower's unseen vibrations -- ScienceDaily – On the plus side – it does not appear that climbers of the tower are impacting it…but this work is a baseline and there could be some longer term effects. Wikipedia has some pictures and a short article about Castleton Tower.

Infographic: History of Ancient Hominin Interbreeding | The Scientist Magazine® - Still learning about the hominin tree and how modern humans carry the genetic heritage.

Camera Trap Chronicles: The Pennsylvania Wilds – Cool Green Science – I wonder what I would see coming through my back yard. I know we have deer…and I occasionally see a fox. Maybe racoons. My first though was to put a camera on the bird feeder or the bird bath.

BBC - Future - Is there a worst time of day to get sick? – Circadian rhythms are important to health….and our medical system doesn’t use them to advantage. I remember being concerned when my mother was in the hospital years ago and the lights were very bright day and night. No wonder she had difficulty sleeping!

Red-Spotted Purple

The other butterfly that seems to be doing great in our area of Maryland are the red-spotted purples. They are smaller swallowtails than the most prominent swallowtails in our area – the tiger swallowtails. They can look a little like the dark morph of the tiger swallowtail but they are smaller and a closer look at the markings show they are different. There was a red-spotted purple caterpillar that hatched on the black cherry plant where the Brookside staff had pinned the cecropia moth cocoons back in April. The moths emerged…and the red-spotted purple caterpillar grew, pupated, and emerged as a red-spotted purple. Now – in September, I am seeing lots of these butterflies. They seem to like country roads and gardens. I saw several at Brookside Gardens over the past few weeks.

And at the north tract of the Patuxent Research Refuge….along the road and in the visitor center parking lot.

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I didn’t get out of the car to identify and photograph the butterflies flitting on and over the road to Belmont Manor and Historic Park…but they were the right color and behavior.

It’s great that we have some butterflies that are apparently doing well even if the Monarch butterflies don’t seem as prevalent this year in our area.

More Juvenile Birds

During the past few weeks, I’ve seen several more juvenile birds. They must be from the late broods.

A Titmouse that was a frequent visitor to our feeder for a few days.

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A Carolina Wren at Brookside Gardens. As usual – I heard it before I saw it.

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The same was true with the fuzzy Cardinal. The song was not quite the adult song yet but cardinal-like. It was singing when I walked under the tree – then stopped when I turned around to take a look.

Posts from earlier this summer about young birds:

Fledglings through the window – July 2

Red Bellied and Down Woodpecker Juveniles – July 25

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 7, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

BBC - Future - Is city life really bad for you? – Some additional reasons we need to make changes to cities --- if that is where the bulk of humans will live in the future.

A Field Guide to Commonly Misidentified Mammals – Cool Green Science – How many of these animals can you correctly identify?

Blood vessels turning into bone-like particles -- ScienceDaily – The headline caught my interest…bone-like particles in the blood. Then I noticed that the researcher was from the school where I did my undergraduate work back in the 1970s!

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Raptors and Migration – Catching up on these weekly posts from National Geographic. I always enjoy them.

BBC - Future - Can you cool a house without air conditioning? – We’ve probably had our last 90 degree plus day for the season at this point….but over the long term, I expect broadening the technologies we use to cool our homes and buildings is going to be important.

Turquoise-Tinted Tarantula Discovered in Sri Lanka | Smart News | Smithsonian – Iridescent color that must startle the spider’s prey (or a predator) --- and a discussion of collecting by scientists.

See a different endangered animal in every U.S. state – The map is easy to explore. The Puritan Tiger Beetle was the one listed for Maryland….not something I had heard of before.

Infographic: How Muscles Age | The Scientist Magazine® - A little muscle anatomy lesson – for young and old.

The Earth's Vegetation Stopped Expanding 20 Years Ago - News | Planetizen – Another indication that climate change is already having a worldwide impact?

Forest-killing bark beetles also might help ecosystem, experts say - UPI.com – It’s distressing to see a forest of dead trees…but maybe it’s an indicator that monoculture forests and fire suppression are not healthy. And then there is climate change in the mix as well. The beetles now survive the winter temperatures in much of their range.

Polyphemus Moth - Macro

I posted about the battered Polyphemus moth shortly after I found it. This past weekend, I spent some time photographing the moth at closer range than I could when it was alive. The hindwing is almost behind the forewing now. It’s easier to see the antennae are somewhat feather-like but not as big as a male’s antennae would be.

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Turned over – some of the legs have already broken off. The abdomen is drying. It may be that the moth laid all the eggs she had before her death.

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A close-up of the thorax and abdomen reveals scales that look a lot like hair.

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The same is true of the wing.

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I put the clip-on magnifying lens on my cell phone. The magnification shows scales although they appear to be much narrower that butterfly scales and don’t lay as flat.

I noticed that even though I was trying to be gentle – the antennae had broken off.

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With additional magnification, the antennae seem to have joints. They may look somewhat like feathers but not when viewed closely. These are sensory organs.

Since the specimen was battered and had already lost some lower leg parts…and antennae – I decided to take a closer look at a hindwing separately. The wing was already brittle and breaking almost every time I touched it.

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I decided to use a jeweler’s loupe rather than the clip.

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The ‘eye’ structures on the wing are clear in the center (the green paper underneath the wing shows through). The scales still look hair-like much of the time…not as fitted together as the scales of a butterfly.

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I found some pictures of Polyphemus moth scales from a microscopy magazine that look similar at the same magnification I was used…and then includes a more magnified view (figures 4 and 5).

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 31, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: August and Sunbirds and Spiderhunters -  Two sets of bird pictures this week…catching up a little on the gleanings…and good picutres to start out the post this week.

Rare Lightning Strikes Detected 300 Miles from North Pole | Smart News | Smithsonian – I’d never thought about lightning or thunderstorms over the arctic….so this was ‘news to me’ from several perspectives.

Impact of largescale tree death on carbon storage -- ScienceDaily – In our area, invasive insects have caused the deaths of two tree species in recent years: Eastern Hemlock (wooly adelgid) and Ash (Emerald Ash Borer)…die-offs that are definitely not the norm. I wondered if the research included these in their ‘insect outbreak’ category.

The practical ways to reduce your carbon footprint (that actually work) | WIRED UK – How many of these have you considered…implemented?

Here's How the 'Fish Tube' Works | Smart News | Smithsonian – And it doesn’t injure the fish? It seems like it would be very traumatic for the fish.

Tracing the History of Decorative Art, a Genre Where "Form Meets Function" – Short…with some good pictures…and links.

Microplastic drifting down with the snow: In the Alps and the Arctic, experts confirm the presence of plastic in snow -- ScienceDaily – Aargh! Something we have in our minds as being ‘clean’ because it is white, is polluted by things so tiny we can’t see them.

Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides – Why are we still using such huge amounts of pesticides when we don’t need to….we have methods to grow our food without decimating pollinators and other beneficial insects.

BBC - Future - The wildlife haven in a Cold War ‘death strip’ – The land between what used to be East and West Germany…the borderland between Finland and Russia….places where the Iron Curtain divided people. This is a long corridor of land left alone for the decades of rapid growth in Europe – land where people didn’t tread but where plants and animals could thrive. It is the European Green Belt through 24 countries. Some species are already using it to migrate north to escape the effects of global warming.

What drives inflammation in type 2 diabetes? Not glucose, says new research -- ScienceDaily – A surprise finding….and now a lot more research needed about fat derivatives and mitochondria in people with type 2 diabetes.

Zooming – August 2019

There are 10 images in this month’s ‘zooming’ post – a selection from places I’ve been over the month: Brookside Gardens, Patuxent Research Refuge, and Mt. Pleasant Farm. I used the zoom a lot on my camera, so I always have a lot to choose from…and the collection almost always is dominated by plants. This month is no exception although there are a few insects (butterflies and a cicada) and a frog.

There is one type of plant that is featured twice. Can you find it in the slideshow?  The answer is below the slideshow.

The hibiscus is the plant featured twice: the red flower and the three green buds!

3 Free eBooks – August 2019

My picks of ebooks freely available online for August were a bit of a challenge; I was a little surprised at the variety that ended up as the top three – fashion history from the 1920s, drawings of junks (also from the 1920s, and Vermont Life Magazine from the 1950s onward (still haven’t looked at all of them up to 2018).

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Barbier, George. Le bon ton d'après-guerre. Paris: Dorbon-Aine. 1922. Two volumes available from Internet Archive (one and two).

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Donnelly, Ivon A. Chinese Junks: a book of drawings in black and white. ShanhaiL Kelly and Walsh. 1920. Available from Internet Archive here.

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Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Vermont Life. Montpelier: Vermont Development Commission. A quarterly publication available from Internet Archive here.

Battered Moth

Earlier this week when I was heading out to a volunteer shift at Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit, I noticed something moving at the base of the red oak tree near our mailbox. I got out of my car to see what it was. There was a large moth flapping around on the ground among the remnants of day lily plants. I took several pictures with my phone and continued to Brookside.

When I got there, the staff helped me identify what I’d seen: a Polyphemus moth (read about the species at Maryland Biodiversity Project and Wikipedia). It’s a female because it doesn’t have the feather-looking antennae. It looked very battered and it died sometime after I left. I collected it when I got home and have it in my freezer…trying to decide what to do with it.

The caterpillars require about 60 days to grow enough to make a cocoon to go through the winter…so this is going to be cutting it close for the eggs this female probably laid in our oak tree. Some of the leaves on our oak (a food plant of the caterpillars) are already beginning to turn reddish brown. None of the branches are low enough for me to see any of the caterpillars in action unfortunately. I’ll still be watching the tree hoping to see one as they grow larger.

Ten Little Celebrations – August 2019

August 2019 was busy – but not as overwhelming as July. I savored the recovery time before the busy fall field trip season volunteering and my own travels. It was still easy to find little celebrations this month.

For three weeks of the month, I celebrated two mornings with Howard County Conservancy summer campers. What great experiences for me and (I hope) for the campers. Fossils, water and flight….interesting themes of high interest to the 5-12 years old groups. I could have counted 6 little celebrations but opted to count each week as 1 larger celebration since I had so many other things to celebrate.

Celebrating Coursera course Bugs 101: Insect-Human Interactions from University of Alberta (which I hope to finish by the end of the month). It was wonderful to have time to dig into an online course again.

Montessori teachers in the Wings of Fancy exhibit. A group of Montessori teachers in training came through the exhibit one morning (when it wasn’t too hot) and I celebrated conversations and that the method is still popular. My daughter certainly thrived in that type of pre-school.

Finding lots of botanical print books. Just when I think I am about to run out of online botanical books, I find a lot more…..and celebrate.

Getting a new laptop ordered. My old laptop is almost out of warranty and, even though it has a new battery and seems to be working well, I ordered a new one. I’m very excited about getting it all set up by the end of the month.

Flavorful cantaloupe. The CSA had very sweet cantaloupes this year. I celebrated melons that were as good as my memories of childhood cantaloupe from my grandparents’ farm.

Office rearrangement. I celebrated a new arrangement of my office furniture and general tidiness of my home office…in preparation for a new laptop.

Photographing a living cicada. Usually the cicada’s I photograph are not living – or are too cold to move. I celebrated seeing one fly into a tree and photographing it…while it was singing.

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Brookside Gardens – August 2019

There is a lot to see at Brookside Gardens in August. I try get there early enough before my Wings of Fancy volunteer shifts to look around.

A plant that was new to me and is evidently doing better than usual in the garden this year (according to one of the gardeners I talked to) is Cardoon or artichoke thistle. In early August, most were still just buds.

By the third week of August there were a lot of blooms. It looks like artichoke and is closely related.

I see Goldfinch almost every time I am in the gardens…but only managed one picture!

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The evidence of Bald Cypress Gall Midge is on the trees now. Soon the tips of the branches will die.

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Sometimes the shape of a leaf catches my attention. These are folded along the central rib – sometimes until they get quite large – and then unfolded into a heart shape leaf.

Milkweed bug larvae (many different instars) are common on milkweed this time of year.

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There were a few Dogwood Sawfly larvae on the dogwood plants near the front of the conservatory buildings but not as many as last year (see the post about them here from August 2018). They were treated with BT (found out from one of the gardeners) and only shriveled larvae were on the plants the next time I visited the gardens.

Wings of Fancy – August 2019

Two volunteer shifts at Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit stand out this month. The first was a shorter shift before the exhibit was open to the general public. It was two hours for photographers. The shift was low key with not as many people in the exhibit and it was cooler because it was early in the morning. The temperature was low enough that many of the butterflies were still roosting rather than flying around.

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It was possible to get close enough for some quick pictures with my cell phone. There were at least two clear wings that were spotted.

Enjoy the slide show! By the end of the 2 hours, the temperature was warming and the morphos were flying. One paid a lot of attention to one of the camera bags.

After my shift I went back into the exhibit and took some pictures with a better camera. My favorite turned out to be a blue morpho that positioned itself perfectly on the ‘do not touch’ sign!

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The second shift was made special by a moth! At the beginning of the shift there was an Atlas Moth on the netting at the top of the conservatory…not a good place for a picture. As the shift went on it got hotter and hotter and the moth glided down to the foliage.  We had some time without visitors in the conservatory and I got a great picture. The clear ‘windows’ on the wings look green because of the green plants behind the moth.

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Gleanings of the Week Ending August 24, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades – How will public health be impacted by warming climate? This article summarizes a county-by-county analysis of likely temperature and humidity over the coming decades.

Waist size is a forgotten factor in defining obesity -- ScienceDaily - Waist size is just as important as BMI in defining obesity-related health risks. The study used data from 156,000 women ages 50-79 from 1993-2017 and confirms a similar study published in 2015 based on a much smaller population.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Little Brown Jobs (LBJs) – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Not as colorful as usual…but I still enjoyed the pictures. I also like the acronym (LBJs)

Algae living inside fungi: How land plants first evolved -- ScienceDaily – And the study was done with algae and fungi that produce high amounts of oil…could be useful growing together for bioproduction (reduce costs).

Food insecurity common across US higher education campuses -- ScienceDaily - Lack of access to reliable supply of nutritious food may affect student's ability to succeed, researchers say. Is it more a problem now that it used to be….or are we just recognizing it? Universities are scrambling to set up programs to address the issue.

With New Perennial Grain, a Step Forward for Eco-Friendly Agriculture - Yale E360 – How can the ideas for prairie and forest sustainable agriculture be moved into the mainstream faster? It seems like there is still a lot to learn about how to do it on a large scale.

Non-native invasive insects, diseases decreasing carbon stored in US forests -- ScienceDaily – It seems like more of these problems are cropping up….and at a time when we need our forests to retain carbon. In our area, the emerald ash borer has killed all the ash trees in the past 5 years…a noticeable change in our forests.

Focus on Native Bees, Not Honey Bees – Cool Green Science - Lots of beautiful bees out there…pollinating right along with the honey bees. We need to support all the pollinators to build (and sustain) health environments for us all.

Solar Panels on Farmland Have Huge Electricity-Generating Potential - Yale E360 – A vision to think about….agrivoltaics (a new vocabular word for me!).

Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all. – I was intrigued by the pictures of landscapes of melting permafrost – collapsing land, methane (enough to burn) bubbling from a thawing pond, crumbling cliffs.