Thursday, August 31, 2017

There's a New Water Weed Eater in Town

Added this morning: Better photos taken with another camera. In the background of the first view below is the new installation of vintage posters for Columbia's 50th Anniversary.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Cloudless Sulphur

The large yellow butterflies flying around Lake Kittamaqundi and other locations now are cloudless sulphurs. They are indicated as uncommon, but this summer I have counted as many as four or five in a single walk around the lake, and I've seen fewer of what is normally the more common orange sulphur, a smaller relative. (Sulphurs are in the same family of butterflies with the cabbage white.)

Photos, all taken at Lake Kittamaqundi this summer, show the cloudless nectaring on a favorite flower, the cardinal flower; laying eggs ("ovipositing") on partridge pea (the other host plant for this species is senna); and puddling (extracting moisture and minerals)  in a group of three on freshly turned soil earlier this week.

More information about butterflies of Howard County and an ongoing survey can be found on the website for the Howard County Bird Club   . (Float your cursor over Butterflies in the Natural History block for a pull-down menu.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse Effects on the Lake Path

After reading about the pinhole camera effect through gaps in leaves of the trees which can be seen during a solar eclipse, I spent most of the period of Monday's solar eclipse around the lake trying to capture the effect with my camera. It was a good way to experience the eclipse, if you didn't have the right equipment to view or photograph it directly. Here are several shots of what are essentially multiple images of the sun turned into a crescent as the moon passes in front of it. I'm including a couple of general views of the lake taken in the subdued light -- perhaps not registering in my photos, but it reminded me of day for night cinematography in old movies.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Links After Charlottesville -- "Make America Reality-based Again"

 One anti-hate organization to follow -- Note its map for locating hate group centers:

Southern Poverty Law Center

The cover story by Kurt Andersen in the September issue of the Atlantic examines the history of extreme views and alternate (un)realities in America and shows how fringe groups and phony news sources gained infrastructure and a following on the internet:

How America Lost Its Mind

Charlie Rose Interviews Kurt Andersen

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ancient Osage; Young Flycatchers

Osage trees along what was once the approach to Oakland Manor; near Lake Kittamaqundi

Young great crested flycatchers nearby

One of the parent great crested flycatchers (ruffled while preening)

Related to great crested flycatchers: eastern phoebe with fresh catch

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Recent Lake Kittamaqundi Scenes and Developments

The red-roofed building at the Lakefront is another Columbia Town Center structure which was designed by Frank Gehry. Are we going to lose it in new plans for Town Center development? It's missing in an artist's concept of the Town Center plans, replaced by a less picturesque four-story building. Below, the other Gehry-designed building at the lake was refurbished and now houses the Whole Foods supermarket and the Haven health club.

Above, Clyde's has dropped its Tomato Palace affiliate and plans to replace it with a music venue....Other views of the "red-roofed building"....

A new rain garden remedies a regularly flooded lawn on the east side. The two photos here show work in progress and almost completed.

An osprey fishes at the lake.

Above, this belted kingfisher shows the markings of a young individual probably born this year -- rufous patches sticking out from under the wings; collar of blue mixed with rufous coloring.

Nice to know that we can find butterflies of the gossamer-wing group around the lake -- this one is a gray hairstreak, spotted just yesterday during a walk in this weekend's friendly weather.