A Couple of Critters

I took a long walk at Audubon yesterday toting the camera… Couldn’t resist taking a few shots of our latest adoptee – we’re calling her “Angel Wing” because of the condition of her wing.

Angel Wing

She cannot fly and will most likely spend the winter in Audubon’s backyard where we keep a portion of the pond free of ice through the use of a bubbler, and where she will munch on birdseed kicked out of the feeders by other birds.

I also happened on this fellow, soaking up some late afternoon sun:

Painted Turtle

He’ll be fine under the ice of the pond through the winter…

In the meantime, let’s all enjoy autumn together…

France Brook Road

Beech LeavesFrance Brook Road is a one-lane dirt road through Allegany State Park. It is beautiful in any season… but especially today after an early October snow storm.

There are several beaver colonies along this road. I stopped by one of the Beaver Ponds that I have visited before during spring and summer. There were a couple of goldenrod plants near it that looked so cool covered with snow:

Goldenrod

The snow kept coming down… from the clouds, but also it would fall off the branches in big loud plops.

Reflections

I walked further up the road…

France Brook Road

I came upon a beaver colony that I didn’t know was there… Guess I never walked this far, and I never noticed it when I drove this road, either…

Beaver Lodge

I kept thinking I saw a beaver swimming out near the lodge, but I decided it was more likely snow plopping off branches…

Edge of the Beaver Pond 3

I took 283 photos… oh my…

Cute Little Caterpillar

Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata)

While out walking the trails at Audubon, I found this critter munching away on an Alder.

Cute Little Caterpillar

I wasn’t sure I had the ID right when I looked it up in our Caterpillars of Eastern North America by David L. Wagner (a wonderful guide, by the way). The picture in the book shows front and back with much more black – much like a Wooly Bear.

So I googled up some more images and found some at the Duke University website that look more like mine. (You’ll have to scroll down on their page to find this species. Click –> here.)

According to Wagner, this little critter will overwinter in the pupa stage and eventually turn into a moth.