Monday, September 8, 2014

September 7, 2014

All the hot, humid weather this past week made it feel like the dog days of summer rather than early September.  It must have felt that way to the Lake Wicwas creatures as well, as this extraordinary member of the cicada family emerged.
Dogday Harvestfly (Tibicen canicularis)

This crazy looking insect is none other than a Dogday Harvestfly - appropriate for this time of year!  They make a loud buzzing sound, kind of like a power saw;  you've probably heard them on hot summer day.  Although a cicada, this is not one that lies dormant for many years;  this species hatches out after just one winter in hibernation.  (It is also called a Dog-day Cicada.)

The humid weather has also been appreciated by amphibians, as there have been many frogs, toads, and salamanders out during the humid days, including this little Pickerel Frog.

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

On August 17th I noticed a Bull Thistle blooming nearby and have been anticipating goldfinches finding the seeds.  Searching out the plant today, I see that someone has in fact been visiting it.
Thistle Seeds being pulled apart

The lake's young loon is still here, though this picture is a couple of weeks old. 
Juvenile Loon  (photo credit:  K. Crowley)

It will likely stay on the lake for several more weeks before flying off to some unknown bay on the Atlantic Ocean. 

After the summer blast of HHH weather, it was a relief to have some much cooler, drier weather drive arrive for the past two days.  If it lasts for a stretch of time there may be a change in the animal activity we observe around Lake Wicwas.   Perhaps it will inspire the remaining Osprey to join their clan on the trip to South America - the two that have left are already in Connecticut and Maryland.  But as of last week, there was still at least one Osprey visiting the lake.  I saw one several times including this one rising from the water after a very successful dive. 

Osprey and its Lunch
I wonder if this will be my last Osprey sighting for the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment