More About that Cool Moth

One of the stars of Moth Night at The Nature Conservancy's Kay Center on Saturday night was a beautiful Beautiful Wood-nymph Moth -- a tint creature with amazing tufted forelegs, a face out of "Alien" and generally cool features all around.

I thought I'd post a few more pix, and a link, here.

TNC's Moth Night was part of National Moth Week. The next event in North Jersey is in the Meadowlands on Thursday night.

More information is here.


Another High Mountain Area Arrowhead

My recent post about finding an arrowhead on High Mountain prompted this response from Greg Birrer:

When I was about 8 yrs old, my mother took us swimming in Franklin Lake at the Indian Trail Club.

I remember sitting in about 10 inches of water digging into the sand on the bottom looking for the little greenish spiral snails that were prevalent there.

On one occasion, I pulled up my hand, let the water wash away the dirt in my hand and I was holding an arrowhead (above)!

It is the same color as yours, but mine has the notches to tie it to the shaft.

I knew what it was right away and was elated to find it. I remember my mother's friend trying to tell me it couldn't be what I said it was!

Anyway, I still have it and, yes, I think it is of authentic Lenni Lenape origin.

According to the late  Franklin historian Jim Longo, several Lenape wintered in High Mountain's Franklin Clove, got their water from Buttermilk Falls and ice-fished in Franklin Lake.  Old map is below. The line in the map is the border of Passaic and Bergen counties.

Franklin Clove is just below the bottom of the map. (Thanks, Greg!)


Monday Mystery 072417: Trail Cam Pix

Since early May, I have had a motion-sensitive trail cam next to Stiles Thomas bird drip.

I have deleted thousands of images and kept a few, including a little surprise or two.

We can I.D. most of them. How about you?  I'll post at least two a week so as no prolong the agony.

(I would have gotten a high-def trail cam but they cost three times as much.)


TNC Moth Night @ the Kay Center

Can't say that the weather cooperated, but folks had a thoroughly enjoyable Moth Night with The Nature Conservancy at the Kay Center in Chester last night.

Because of a light but unpredictable rain, we moved the old Mothra movie, the S'Mores and the popcorn inside, and then set up the Mercury vapor light and a sheet under an overhang outside. IMG_4184

We did not expect much moth activity.  All I can is, Boy, were we surprised.

Not only did we have at least one outrageously strange little moth we think is a Beautiful Wood-nymph, but we also had two very cool hawk moths (think: tiny Stealth Bombers), a tussock moth caterpillar and a huge American toad. Not bad for a drizzly night.

The goal of the evening was to remind folks just how nifty nature can be at night if we pay attention.

May post more pix if they become available.

Moth Night, by the way, is part of the eighth annual National Moth Week, a terrific worldwide event. You can learn more here.

Just wanted to thank Lisa Shippy-Woods and The Nature Conservancy for putting together and hosting this very cool and educational event -- awesome job. 

A "thank you," too, to everyone who participated despite the uncertain (at best) weather. 

(Also wanted to give a tip o' the  cap to moth'ers Garry Annibal and Lee Gaitskill for their I.D. help.)
IMG_4212Hawk Moth  (likely Virginia Creeper Hawk Moth)                     

IMG_4170Beautiful Wood-nymph Moth, featuring fuzzy tufts on its forelegs. "Beautiful" is an actual part of its name.

IMG_4161Tussock Moth Caterpillar

IMG_4216Horned Spanworm Moth

The New Hedge Trimmer at Work

Tried out the new Fyke cordless hedge trimmer in the Green Way IMG_4584 meadow yesterday a.m. 

Now we can see all of the beautiful wildflowers that Fred Weber planted much better.

A big thank you to Peter Burger for donating the money for the hedge trimmer and extra battery.

The trimmer is great for cutting invasive reeds and weeds. It will be well-used -- and has proven its worth already at the Pirie-Mayhood Tower, Parnell's Path, and the Green Way Meadow. (Thanks, Peter!)

A big thanks, too, to folks who cut more of the Phrags at the Pirie-Mayhood Tower. the view of the lake is great once again!


Kay Center Butterflies & More

Not only is The Nature Conservancy sponsoring a free Moth Night tonight at the Kay Center, but the grounds there offer some primo butterfly-watching. (Click here for more info on tonight's free S'Moths an S'Mores event in Chester.)

Among the butterflies I saw there this week were Spicebush Swallowtail, many Monarchs, Question Mark, Wood Nymph, Great Spangled Fritillary, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Silver-spotted Skipper. 

Also had a few Hummingbird Clear-winged Moths for a Moth Night warm-up act.

I'll let you figure out which butterflies and moths are which, but if anyone can I.D. that flower at the end....IMG_4083








Painted Turtle Maternity Boom

DSCN3481 DSCN3476







Saw a huge non-snapping turtle laying eggs by Phairs Pond the other day, and saw two more (above) laying eggs in the yard yesterday morning.

The first one was so large that I could not find anything large enough for a size comparison. It was a good 10 inches. (A quarter or nickel would not do the job.)

If you're driving near the CF, look out for these guys. I think they are native Eastern Painted Turtles. More about NJ turtles here.


A Coupla Meadowlands Swallowtails

On my visit to DeKorte Park on Wednesday, I checked out an array of butterflies, including a camera-shy Monarch, lots of skippers and a Gilligan, and these two cool Swallowtails on Coneflowers.

Butterfly Day at DeKorte Park is only eight days away.

Bergen County Audubon's Don Torino and I created the event way back in 2010. So glad it is going strong! This is the eighth annual.

More info is here.


A Coupla Meadowlands Moths

DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst is looking terrific these days, with more native plants than ever.

Saw two clear-winged moths in the Jill Ann Ziemkiewicz Memorial Butterfly Garden yesterday. The reddish one is a Hummingbird Clear-winged Moth, and I'm thinking the blacker one -- actually perched ona leaf -- is a Snowberry. 

Really get a good look at those almost clear wings.

Butterfly Day at DeKorte (and Diurnal Moth Day) is just nine days away.

Maybe it's just me, but Diurnal Moth Day just doesn't sound as cool, for some reason. IMG_4056

Deer-proof Native Plants

Since my wife and I live near the Celery Farm, which is overrun with White-tailed Deer, the native plants in our yard have taken a beating (or should I say "an eating")?

This spring we have added a new plant to the mix -- Prickly Pear Cactus -- which is native to New Jersey. So far, the deer have said "ix-nay" to IMG_4555the "actus-cay."

Nice-looking bloom, too. I've seen 'em on High Mountain.

Did I mention the cactus is also called "the Devil's Tongue"?  And there's even a snack bar (right) that features it?

Clearly, this plant has it all.

More on these cacti, or cactuses, here. (Not sure why it's categorized as a harmful plant, except to the "bare feet" mentioned in the link. Anybody know?)