Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22, 2014

Welcome summer!  After a couple of windy, dry days, the summer solstice brought in a beautiful summer day today - perfect for a quiet paddle around Lake Wicwas.  What better summer sight is there than this?

The flowers have moved into their summer phase, with the Irises and Sheep Laurel blooming around the shoreline.
Sheep Laurel

The aquatic plants are fully established now as well.  I could clearly see beaver highways through the marshes, their routes divulged by the absence of lily pads where they travel.  The center route here leads to their lodge, and at the junction, paths lead both north and south to open water in the lake.

I came upon a few more interesting insects this week, including a Crane Fly which had landed right on our door.  These are really neat flies, scary looking, but completely harmless - unless you are a mosquito larva upon which they sometimes feed.
Crane Fly

They certainly give credence to the moniker of bug-eyed.

This fuzzy moth was resting and munching on a blueberry plant - I don't know what kind it is, but it looks fairly unique.

There are probably dozens of nondescript, whitish-brown moths that I couldn't hope to identify, but this cool caterpillar is so unique it was easy - it is a pyreferra citrombra.  

pyreferra citrombra Caterpillar
The moth itself is nothing special to look at, but the caterpillar is striking.

And, we heard a report that the loons have selected a nesting site.  Pending good weather, steady water levels, no predators, and a lack of human harassment, and Lake Wicwas may add to the loon population in 2014!

We took a drive up to Sugar Hill to see how the Lupine's are doing this year - and maybe to stop in at Polly's Pancake Parlor....  The primary fields are not as impressive as other years, but we found some nice blooms around Pearl Lake.

Pearl Lake

We also saw a scene that reminded me of Steamboat Springs - this one is for you VP!
Canon Mountain

On the return trip we drove by the Franconia Airport and found the gliders were enjoying the brisk winds.  We stayed to watch a full cycle of one of the larger gliders. 
Franconia Airport

A local pilot we spoke with had just landed and said the strong winds were making for very bumpy flying.

The weekend concluded with a lovely, summer solstice sunset - as far north as it ever sets.  Today gave us 15 hours and 32 minutes of sun!

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