Lumberjack’s toilet paper

flower mullein

Mullein or Lumberjack’s toilet paper usually grows straight and tall, often in the shape of a candelabra lit with lovely yellow blossoms. For some unknown reason this group of plants followed a remarkably snake-like direction instead. I wonder if they will grow the same way in the same location next year. FYI, the toilet paper reference is to the broad, soft, velvety leaves the plant thoughtfully provides for the traveler or passing lumberjack in need. The leaves were also cut into rectangles and used as blankets in dollhouses. If you find the lovely whorls of early stage plants toward Christmas, save some of the small leaves, dry them and tie them together in bunches with ribbon to decorate your tree.


Mockingbird fledgling!

bird mocker fledge

Mockingbird fledgling may be out of focus but it is out in the world, clinging to an apple tree branch! Since John caught this photo 6/18 we have seen it, or one or more of it’s nest mates,  hopping around on our deck, getting fed by their always diligent parents and, within a few days of leaving the nest, actually flying all the way from the deck to the dawn redwood!

Up close and personal

insect paper wasp

Enlargements of a polistes or paper wasp’s nest. It’s almost like the larvae are looking at you!

insect paper wasp 2

Per Wikipedia: Unlike yellowjackets and hornets, which can be very aggressive, polistine paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened.[7] Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on people, and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals, nests in human-inhabited areas may present an unacceptable hazard.[8]

Paper wasp on a spider lily leaf – they are considered beneficial by gardeners.

Most wasps are beneficial in their natural habitat, and are critically important in natural biocontrol.[3] Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, including caterpillarsflies, and beetle larvae. Because they are a known pollinator and feed on known garden pests, paper wasps are often considered to be beneficial by gardeners.[8]

Remember box turtle with camel on shell? Thought I found him again!

turtle box camel cora 3

Here he is at Cora’s, on Fenwick Road, on 6/24/17, 1/2 mile from prior sighting on 6/6.

turtle box camel cora 2

So exciting to be able to recognize a box turtle!! Feeling like a very proud naturalist, I dug up the prior photos from 6/6 to show you and verify my sighting.

Turtle box camel

Here he was 6/6/17 at Greg’s, on Fenwick Road. OMG! It’s not the same turtle! How could there be 2 turtles in the world with camel patterns in same location on shell? They both have camels but the 6/24 turtle has a sun over the camel!

Turtle box camel 2

What else am I missing? Do all box turtles look alike?! Not according to a friend who reported finding a box turtle with an eagle pattern.