bugs

High Summer in the Meadow

High Summer in the Meadow

This was a rather busy summer, work-wise...

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Monarch

Monarch

I spent a good chunk of today working on dog training articles...

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Some Movable Beasts


September was a hard month for us. We moved ourselves to a new house (wonderful!), and we both had pretty hectic work schedules. Dog walks suffered greatly as we spent our free afternoons moving books (we have so many books!) and furniture from New Haven to Branford over the course of several weeks.

The dogs didn’t like the move (all their stuff disappeared slowly and we didn’t go for many walks), but they love the new house.

For Andy’s birthday, I strung lights all around our (new!) deck. The first step was to install a post at one corner, and so I could make it a surprise, I did it all in the evening before he got home from work. This rather large mantis decided to get right in the way for a few minutes, and since I wasn’t sure I could take him if it came to a brawl, I worked on another section of the deck until he decided to wander off.

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What There's Time For


The walks are starting to blur together, particularly the ones at our standby loop on a local town land trust. Fetch in the field, swim in the river, hike the loop, swim in the river, fetch in the field again, back in the car.


All times become each time, as if we took a hike for weeks and weeks, circling back to the same spot with no breaks and no loss of charm in the repetition.


I’ve had some time to practice taking photos of the ubiquitous damselflies. I thought this one was sufficiently artsy to be included.

Damselfly identification is a huge pain. This one may be the same species I’ve photographed before in Vermont, a Black-winged Damselfly or Ebony Jewelwing. The female Calopteryx maculata has a white spot at the tip of the wing. Her wings tend to be less dark too, but in this photo, that’s not particularly helpful.

I’m still working on acquiring the knowledge of all three hundred or so birds who spend at least part of the year in New England, but once I’m done, if there’s still time left over, maybe I’ll move on and learn about all hundred and fifty odonates.

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Once More to the Lake

As the end of the summer term approached, Jax and I stole one more afternoon to head up to the high lake. At the base of the hike, there’s a waterfall, and as you head on up, you periodically cross the streams that join up to feed the cascade far below you.

One of those streams comes out of Abbey Pond itself, and it’s home to dozens of Black-winged Damselflies like this one. Generally, I’m no good at identifying insects, and damselflies are particularly problematic. However, the Black-winged variety is easy, since it’s the only species with, well, black wings.

“Summertime, oh summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweet fern and the juniper forever and ever, summer without end.”

              -E. B. White
                “Once More to the Lake”

We stopped off a few days later for one last romp through the mountain meadows before we went back to Connecticut for the fall. We were sad to leave behind the beauty of the places that welcomed us like home, but we were also overjoyed to reunite our little family and to visit the familiar Connecticut woods, meadows, lakes, and sofas that have treated us both so well.

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