I found this white-dotted prominent caterpillar (Nadata gibbosa) crawling across Meadow Road yesterday. A green caterpillar with an opaque, lighter green face, it is covered with white dots. This one had two brown patches on it, perhaps some sort of infection?
According to the Peterson Field Guide to Moths, white-dotted prominents feed primarily on oaks. A number of white oaks are growing near where I found it.
In addition to the white dots, these caterpillars also have orange/red dots on the lower end of each segment.
A flock of American goldfinches was all over the cup plants (Silphium perfoliatum) near the meadow. Male goldfinches are easily recognizable with their yellow and black wings, black foreheads, and orange bills. Females don’t stand out as much.
Cup plants are a known favorite of goldfinches.
I also caught a chipmunk scurrying down a cup plant. I’m not sure if it was also after the plant’s seeds.
This late in the summer, there aren’t a lot of plants in flower. Fragrant pink summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Rosea’) and the scholar tree (Styphnolobium japonicum) were notable exceptions. The scholar tree can be shy with its blooms some years, but it’s blooming profusely now.