Pickerelweed (US) Pickerel Weed (UK)

Flower pickerel weed

Beautiful. Grows in clumps all summer long here along the edge of our tidal pond and even creates wonderful blue and green islands in the middle of the pond. Grown from seeds and rhizomes, they are regularly planted in water gardens here and across the pond. Young shoots, leaves and seeds are edible. Make sure you are collecting from clean water.


Amaze your friends! Tell them the sex of butterflies like this Black Swallowtail!

Insect black swallowtail male

This is a male Black Swallowtail butterfly. Obvious differences between black swallowtail male and female are found in the big yellow “V” on their wings. The male’s “V” pattern looks like it is composed of a long row of crooked yellow teeth. The female’s “V” is made up of a line of small yellow dots. The female also has more blue on hind wings, similar to the female tiger swallowtail. Swallowtails are easy to observe because they spend a lot of time drinking flower nectar. It doesn’t even take much patience, just some flowers.

Guess which osprey chick has been fed!

Baby birds scream until they are too full to move. So an osprey chick with a full stomach is quiet.

bird osprey chick full 2

Red Eye is so full she can focus on grooming. But there is still an osprey survival lesson in progress. Mom retrieved the scrap of fish Red Eye didn’t finish in the nest, brought it up to her favorite eating branch and is now demonstrating that there was more food to be had from Red Eye’s discards.

bird osprey chick full 4

Red Eye is observing mom’s thoroughness. Maybe next time there will be fewer left-overs for mom.

What do you call a wasp piggy-back ride?

insects wasps 3a

Female wasp giving piggy-back ride to males! Sometimes they carry 2 males on their backs. Please look closely. You can count 6 antennae lower left, just under stack of 3 heads. And 3 abdomens are easy to count on the right. ┬áSimilar triple-decker photos were in an earlier blog. These photos demonstrate that it isn’t such a rare occurrence.

Insects wasps 3

Reminds me of a circus act! Please share with your buggy friends.