I saw this pair of Lixus weevils yesterday clinging to a plant stalk. They look like anteaters crossed with grasshoppers, only twice as ridiculous. They appear to be black yet covered with an orange or rust-colored powder. They continued to mate as I pointed the camera at them. The lower one, however, would slide around the stalk to hide from me.
Tag Archives: Arnold Arboretum
Arboretum: Nesting Orioles and Fledgling Robins
After a few cold, cloudy, rainy days, we took advantage of today’s brilliant sunshine to walk through the Arboretum. We spotted a Baltimore oriole nest in the Meadow hanging on a silver maple branch. A female oriole perched next to it and watched us.
Arboretum: Swallowtails and Bulb Flies
I found two eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies (Papilio glaucus) on a mulch bed at the Arboretum last week. They appeared to be basking in the sun. At times, both would shiver their wings. I assumed one of these butterflies was a male and the other female but, judging from the lack of blue chevrons on their hindwings, they both appear to be male.
Arboretum: Warblers and Wasps
Monday was a fine day for birding at the Arboretum. Spring migrants are everywhere to be found. I managed to see seven species of warblers alone!
I saw and heard a number of catbirds, many of them hiding inside bushes. The red underneath the tail feathers caught my attention for the first time.
Arboretum: First Warbler of the Year
We walked the Arboretum yesterday in search of spring activity. Despite the gray skies, birds were in spring mode. We were lucky enough to see our first warbler of the year, a palm warbler, near the beech collection on Bussey Hill. The warbler migration has begun!
Arboretum: An Early Spring Day
I went for a walk as soon as the clouds cleared this afternoon. Judging from the forecast, spring has finally arrived and the plants at the Arboretum are starting to show it. The flower buds of red maples are ready to burst. Snowdrops are the only form of snow left in the area. And crocuses have joined the snowdrops in flower, two weeks later than last year.
Arboretum: More Signs of Spring
The snowdrops are out! We found them near the Explorers’ Garden on Bussey Hill, along the road near the sassafras, and in the marsh, poking out amongst grass and leaf litter.
This gorgeous variety of witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Hiltingbury’) also impressed us.
Arboretum: Signs of Spring and Red-Breasted Nuthatches
We have endured a colder-than-normal winter in Boston and so any sign of spring is much celebrated. On March 1, we counted over a hundred American robins near Meadow Road in the Arboretum. While the number might be unusual, robins in and of themselves are not a true sign of spring. Many overwinter in the area.
Today, however, we saw and heard our first male red-winged blackbirds. These birds are a more reliable indicator that winter is waning. Coincidentally, today was the nicest day we have had all year, with balmy temperatures and clear skies. The cold will soon return, but so will more of the red-winged blackbirds, and spring will win out.
Arboretum: Sparrows and Wrens
I went for a walk in the Arnold Arboretum yesterday to look for birds, my first such walk of the new year. The temperature was above freezing and many had come to sled and cross-country ski. I saw quite a few species near the Visitor Center. Among the birds I saw was this white-throated sparrow, all fluffed up to keep itself warm.
I also saw a couple of Carolina wrens, rustling at the base of the cattails in the meadow and visiting the birdfeeder.
Arboretum: Birds and Winter Fruit
Now that fresh fruit is no longer available, birds have taken to picking off what is left on the trees. Sometimes a frost or two helps soften fruit, making it more palatable. I saw a few birds visiting some fruit trees this Friday.
Cedar waxwings were all over a Korean mountain ash (Sorbus alnifolia), picking off the fruit.