Tuesday, September 24, 2019

WILDLIFE AT HUNTLEY MEADOWS PARK

The last time we had a walk here a few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to see quite a lot of wildlife, and I put together a collage to start off today's post.    
When I was taking photos of this butterfly, a gentleman came by and told me what it was.  He was carrying a camera and a tripod.  I wish I could remember his name!  He said he had taken a photograph of the butterfly and went through several on his phone to show me.  All his photos looks wonderful and he said he had an account on Flicker and mainly took videos, that I do remember.  Hopefully I will come across it one of these days.
He told me this was a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly, and I found a blog with great photos here.  This is the first time I remember seeing one, or more likely had the chance to take notice.  The butterfly posed very nicely for a while.
It is sipping nectar from a Climbing hempvine, botanical name Mikania scandens.

Eileen at Viewing Nature with Eileen (you can see what she says in her comments attached to this post) identified this bird as a Juvenile Little Blue Heron.  Thank you Eileen.  I love how our blogging friends help out, and always appreciate correct identifications. 

You can learn more here.

Their habitat information was found at the above link: "you will find them at the edges of shallow water, particularly where there is adjacent emergent vegetation or overhanging bushes or trees."


A Great Egret is next.   Gregg took its photos.  There were several of them at the park when we were there...

many putting on a wonderful display in flight.

He also took there, two Great Blue Herons.  Unfortunately most of the birds were further than we would have liked, but always grateful for whatever we can get.  If you go to this YouTube link it will show you a great video of this bird.

In the next photo is a female Eastern Pond Hawk Dragonfly, Erythemis simplicicollis. You can see a photo of the male at this link.

The brown dragonfly is an Eastern Amberwing

The last one is the Common White Dragonfly.

This looks like a Meadow Katydid.

A Blue tailed Skink and you can see one here also.

It looks like it is growing a new tail.  The blogger said that although this is called a Blue-tailed skink in the US, it is actually an American Five-lined Skink.  He added that the actual Blue-tailed skink lives on Christmas Island in Australia.


There weren't many frogs to be seen on this visit, and I looked really hard to find one.  The only reason I saw the handsome fellow below, was I noticed a young girl with her family leaning precariously over the boardwalk.  I asked what they were looking at and the girl pointed to the frog.

He is above left of center in the first photo below.  I had to lean far over to see him as he was out of almost out of sight just under the boardwalk.  

This is a Snapping Turtle.  Its head was visible with the rest of him under water.  He is prehistoric looking isn't he?

I have seen them many times at various places, mostly in the water and one time on land.  They can be huge and I figured our landlubber was a grandfather of snappers.  I gave him a wide berth as I have read they can be particularly aggressive on land even before reading the same at this link.  Also, though most of the time you only see their head tucked into their shell, they have long necks that can swivel really fast, and that mouth would do terrible things to your fingers.  Sorry for that image but forewarned is forearmed.  I like these creatures and have always found them fascinating, but it is sensible to have a healthy respect for all wildlife and keep an appropriate distance.

I saved these for the last.  Many of us know about the Eastern Tent Caterpillar.   They aren't at all popular.  When we first moved into our house almost 30 years ago, I was told by a neighbor that these caterpillars killed a tree in our yard and much to the previous owner's dismay, it fell on our roof.  We noticed another tree that was dead.  It had been growing next to it, and had to have it cut down before it did the same.  
The actual moth is a cute little thing as you will see here.  I was surprised to see the caterpillars around.
It seems to me that this year I have seen a lot more of these 'tents'.  They are usually a common sight going down the highway, on side roads too.
This is the last of our recent Huntley Meadow trip.  Always a great place to amble around.  I enjoy the woods but my favorite part is the walkway across the wetland.







44 comments:

  1. I always look forward to your Huntley Meadow posts. These photos are really fabulous! My favorite is the last one of the Fritillary butterfly. It is so wonderful that it could be on the cover of National Geographic. The Amberwing has wings of gold!

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    1. Ginny, thank you so much! Such a neat thing to say :) and always happy you enjoy my posts.

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  2. I really enjoyed this post and found the tent caterpillar fascinating. I don't think we have them - but will have to ask Captain Google. It seems we do - thank you for the continuing education.

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    1. Thank you EC, Google is great for all this information isn't it?

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  3. Fascinating captures, beautiful animals, it was a joy to look at your photos☺

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    1. Obrigado pelas suas palavras gentis. Gostaria também de desejar uma boa semana continuada :)

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  5. As expected from news items I have had numerous different butterflies in the garden. It has been a wonderful year for them. It would have been better had I known the names!

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    1. Hi Valerie, that's very interesting and am glad to hear that. I also have seen a lot of butterflies this year.

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  6. Hello, Denise. Wonderful wildlife sightings and photos. I love the beautiful dragonfly. Green Heron and Egrets. The first bird you have listed as an Egret is actually a juvenile Little Blue Heron, it has a bi-colored bill. Love the cute frogs and the skink. We are seeing those tent caterpillars all over the place. Wishing you a happy day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen and thank you very much for the correct ID. I will correct my ID right away. Happy day to you too :)

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  7. Great photos of the wildlife you saw on your walk. Great information too. you make me feel guilty because I don't bother naming my birds .

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    1. No guilt necessary Diane :))) When I have the time my curiosity takes over, when it doesn't I have to let go as life takes priority :))) and I know how busy you get. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  8. wow and wow again, so many beautiful critters today. my faovrites are the turtle snout and the closeup of the frog... they are all amazing photos... I do love critters, all of them no matter what they are and today you hit the jackpot of all critters.

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  9. forgot to say our yard is always full of frittearys but I have never seen a spangled one. gorgeous

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    1. Thanks again, I have been seeing a lot of swallowtail butterflies this year, but this was a knew one to me. Whenever I see a different butterfly it's hard for me not to get excited :)

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  10. Awesome photos. In my next life I'm coming back as someone who can identify all insects. There so much that the ordinary person doesn't know about insects.

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    1. Thank you Red, I have to say I have had a lot of help with ID from more experienced nature bloggers. And being interested in the insect world is because of them and their marvelous macros.

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  11. Beautiful photographs, I love frogs and butterflies. This is true with wild animals you have to be careful.

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    1. Dziękuję Lucyna! Very true but fun to look at from a distance :)

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  12. I like those herons. Yes, the snappers are formidable animals, and faster than you expect.

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  13. Wow, Denise, you capture the most wonderful creatures with your camera! I love seeing the snapper from a distance and you are so right about the danger of getting too close. So glad you were careful. Clearly you love nature, my friend. Thank you for sharing all of your lovely photos at Huntley Meadows Park.

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen and you are so very welcome :) I have developed this love of nature from my father's side of the family.

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  14. Wow Denise, so many beautiful creatures! What a fabulous walk. I love that closeup of the Heron, it's eye is wonderful to see.
    Aw those skinks - so lovely, we have a few who live in our backyard, such sweeties.
    The 'tents' are amazing.
    Great post ... dragonflies too, lovely!... thank you! :D) xx

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    1. Thank you Sue and you are always welcome. It's a great place for a whole variety of lovelies.

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  15. What a fabulous set of photos well done. Cheers Diane

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    1. Hi Diane, thank you and cheers back to you too :)

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  16. You got some amazing photos of the wildlife. Love that juvenile blue heron! I always appreciate bloggy friends and the information they share.

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  17. Beautiful birds and butterflies but it's the frog and turtle that really captivate me. The turtle shot is amazing!

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    1. Thank you Pauline, I have always been interested in frogs and turtles :)

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  18. You and Gregg had some great photo captures on this visit, Denise. The turtle does look a bit prehistoric. I liked the heron and the reflection photo.

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  19. This Huntley Meadow trip must have been a wonderful trip.

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    1. Thank you Rose, it is lovely! We have more times than I can remember and each time is a joy.

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  20. Wonderful photos. You're fortunate to see so many species of wildlife. The dragonflies are beautiful. I like the one with the amber winds. Thank you for sharing all the interesting creatures and their names as they're more unusual from anything that can be seen in the UK.

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    1. Thank you, so happy you enjoyed. Next time I go back to the UK it will be for a nature trip :)

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  21. Hello, I got an unknown message from someone. Is that you Mike? I know I just left a comment on your blog and I would hate to be rude and not reply to such a nice comment. I know it's a little difficult with the flow between Wordpress and Blogger sometimes. I don't publish them but thought I would this comment here, in case it is Mike. Please whoever wrote this, could you leave your name next time, as I would love to know who you are for sure?

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  22. Unknown and hopefully Mike said, "Real nice shots Denise. Huntley Meadows has an amazing variety of creatures of all sorts throughout the year. It's a pretty popular place that can get crowded at times, but it is hard to match the view you get as you walk through the middle of the wetlands through the boardwalk."

    If this is Mike, thank you so much for visiting. Mike has a great blog at this address. His photos are amazing!

    https://michaelqpowell.com/

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