I took photos of a wealth of natural life at the Arnold Arboretum yesterday. Among the birds, dragonflies, frogs, and plants, only one of the subjects was accessioned: Wilson’s spiraea (Spiraea wilsonii).
Quite a few wildflowers were in bloom. Both white clover (Trifolium repens) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) are in the legume family. A close look at the flowers reveals the common pea-flower shape. Both plants are native to Europe and nearby lands.
Also native to Europe, the ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is in flower.
Our fourth plant — surprise! — is also native to Europe. This one is highly invasive, however. Black swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae) is a vine with opposite leaves and small, dark flowers.
The Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is a native plant, beneficial to local wildlife. Another plus: edible fruit!
I saw this eastern chipmunk between some magnolia trees and a stream. Chipmunk must be synonymous with cute.
I found a white-breasted nuthatch upside down on a white pine branch.
A flock of cedar waxwings was picking the fruit off a Sargent cherry (Prunus sargentii) tree. I observed an odd behavior: one waxwing handed a cherry to another waxwing, who handed it back. This went on for a little while until one of the waxwings swallowed it.
Apparently this is courtship behavior and the birds are of opposite sexes. I managed to get a shaky video of one of the exchanges.
I found bullfrogs in two of the ponds near the Rose Garden.
I was able to get a photo of one of the butterflies I saw. The common ringlet feeds on grasses. No coincidence, then, that I found it in a grassy area.
I turned to bugguide to get identifications on two of the more obscure insects I saw. I found the first, a sawfly, on a plant under a honey locust tree.
The second was identified as a satellite fly, most of whom are kleptoparasites, meaning that they steal food from other insects. Satellite flies apparently steal from bees and wasps. If it were up to me, I would name it the bristle-butt fly.
Some of the most beautiful creatures I saw today were dragonflies and damselflies. I saw a common whitetail dragonfly resting on a branch and another resting on the sidewalk.
A female common pondhawk and a male twelve-spotted skimmer were both resting near one of the ponds.
Compared to the dragonflies, the eastern forktail damselflies were tiny and plentiful. I found both a male and an older female (females turn from orange to blue-gray as they age) near the ponds.