Indian Pipe – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:20 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm Common Name: Indian Pipe Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence. […]

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Pure Gold-Green Sweat Bee – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time:  1:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Pure Gold-Green Sweat Bee Scientific Name: Augochlora pura Comments: The pure gold-green sweat bee is a solitary sweat bee native to the eastern United States with striking green iridescence. This species is an important native pollinator in eastern deciduous forests and other habitats. It emerges in spring […]

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Whorled Wood Aster – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (in the woods) Common Name: Whorled Wood Aster Scientific Name: Oclemena acuminata Comments: Whorled Wood Asters are among the relatively few woodland wildflowers that bloom in late summer and early fall. Note the pure gold-green sweat bee feeding on the blossoms. More information: Wildflowers of the Adirondacks

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Clouded Sulphur Butterfly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Clouded Sulphur butterfly Scientific Name: Colias philodice Comments: A common butterfly seen from late April to mid-October. This patch of blooming Joe Pye weed was alive with clouded sulphurs feeding on the nectar. Note the big green eyes. More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

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Praying Mantis – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 12:50 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Praying Mantis Scientific Name: Mantis religiosa Comments: Mantises are the only insects capable of turning their heads from side to side. Being able to turn its head without moving the rest of its body is a key advantage for a mantis when hunting, allowing for minimal movement […]

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Gray Catbird – 8/28/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/28/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Gray Catbird Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis Comments: Catbirds are one of three mimics in our area. Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers are the other two. Catbirds repeat sounds just once, whereas Brown Thrashers repeat sounds twice, and Mockingbirds repeat them three or four times before moving on to […]

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Mallard – 8/28/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/28/20 Observation Time: 12:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Mallard Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos Comments: Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it […]

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Northern Cardinal – 8/22/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/22/20 Observation Time: 5:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Northern Cardinal (male) Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis Comments: One of the most common birds in Sharon, cardinals are also one of the most striking. Cardinals have a whistle-like voice, and sing strongly. Learn to recognize their various vocalizations at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_cardinal/sound Cardinals typically travel in pairs. The female is mostly […]

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Downy Woodpecker – 8/22/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/22/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Downy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens Comments:  “Pubescens” refers to its downy hairs of puberty compared to those of the Hairy woodpecker, D. villosus. [The Dictionary of American Bird Names by Ernest A. Choate] Downy woodpeckers look very much like hairy woopeckers, but downy woodpeckers are much smaller than […]

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Great Blue Heron – 8/20/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/20/20 Observation Time: 10:00 a.m. Observation Location: Lake Massapoag Common Name: Great Blue Heron Scientific Name: Ardea herodias Comments: Adult great blue herons weigh about 5 lbs. They weigh more than great horned owls, which weigh about 3 lbs., but they are not the largest bird found in Sharon. Bald eagles can reach 14 lbs. More Information: All About Birds

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White Vervain – 8/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/18/20 Observation Time: 11:50 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate) Common Name: White Vervain Scientific Name: Verbena urticifolia Comments: I initially identified this plant using a cool app called Seek. Normally white vervain has green leaves, so I sent my photo of this red-leaved specimen to a botanist, who verified that it is indeed white vervain. The […]

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American Lady Butterfly – 8/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/18/20 Observation Time: 11:40 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate) Common Name: American Lady butterfly Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis Comments: American Lady butterflies look a lot like Painted Lady butterflies. The American Lady has two large spots on the undersides of its trailing wings. The Painted Lady has four smaller spots instead. This Amerian Lady was feeding on a blossom of […]

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New York Ironweed – 8/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/18/20 Observation Time: 11:35 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate) Common Name: New York Ironweed Scientific Name: Vernonia noveboracensis Comments: New York ironweed is a tall, perennial wildflower that produces small purple blossoms in August and September. This specimen is approximately 8 feet tall. More Information: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Porcelain Gray Moth – 8/16/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/16/20 Observation Time: 9:50 a.m. Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd. Common Name: Porcelain Gray Moth Scientific Name: Protoboarmia porcelaria Comments: This is a type of geometer moth. This individual was resting on my window in the morning. Moths are typically nocturnal. One way to attract moths on a summer night is to hang a white sheet and put a light behind […]

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Cecropia Moth Coccoon – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:45 p.m. Observation Place: Mountain St. Common Name: Cecropia Moth (coccoon phase) Scientific Name: Hyalophora cecropia Comments: The cecropia moth is the largest North American moth. It has a wingspan of 5-6 inches. It is a very colorful moth. The female cecropia moth lays rows of eggs on both sides of a leaf on a tree or shrub. […]

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Monarch Caterpillar – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:40 p.m. Observation Place: Mountain St. Common Name: Monarch Butterfly caterpillar Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus Comments: This monarch caterpillar was feeding on milkweed. It will soon form a chrysalis. Milkweed is poisonous. Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed to make themselves poisonous to avoid predation. Their bright coloration is a warning to predators. Eating milkweed can sometimes be fatal to the […]

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Devil’s Beggarticks – 8/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:30 p.m. Observation Location: Mountain St. Common Name: Devil’s Beggarticks Scientific Name: Bidens Frondosa Comments: A summer annual that may reach as much as 3 1/2 feet in height.  Devils beggarticks has prickly fruit that facilitate seed dispersal by sticking to the fur and clothing of any animal or human that brushes by this weed when mature.  […]

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Wood Nymph Butterfly – 8/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:20 p.m. Observation Location: Mountain St. Common Name: Wood Nymph butterfly Scientific Name: Cercyonis pegala Comments: Despite its name the Wood Nymph butterfly prefers open areas including fields, wet meadows, salt marshes, and bogs. It also inhabits open woods and ventures along well lit woodland trails. More information: Mass Audubon Butterfly Atlas 3

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Cardinal Flower – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:15 p.m. Observation Location: Morse St. Common Name: Cardinal Flower Scientific Name: Lobelia cardinalis Comments: Cardinal flowers are typically found near water. These were growing in a dry streambed. Since most insects find it difficult to navigate the long tubular flowers, cardinal flowers depend on hummingbirds, which feed on the nectar, for pollination. Its common name alludes to the […]

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False Puffball Slime Mold – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 2:45 p.m. Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill Common Name: False Puffball Slime Mold Scientific Name: Enteridium lycoperdon Comments: Slime molds are neither plants nor animals. They are members of the phylum Amoebozoa, and are related to amoeba. Slime molds are aggregates of single-celled organisms. Some kinds of slime molds can grow up to 9 feet long! Slime molds typically aggregate to […]

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Heller’s Rosette Grass – 8/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 2:25 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. Common Name: Heller’s Rosette Grass Scientific Name: Dichanthelium oligosanthes Comments: I identified this peculiar clump of grass using a cool app called Seek. It sprang up in a cleared and mulched area where there was no competition from other grass. More Information: Friends of the Wildflower Garden

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American Burnweed – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill Common Name: American burnweed (a.k.a. fireweed) Scientific Name: Erechtites hieraciifolius Comments: Burnweed is a native annual in the daisy family, Asteraceae. American Burnweed is an underrated and unappreciated wild edible. Although Burnweed has no history as a food source here in America, everywhere else in the world where it grows it is eaten. […]

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Spotted Wintergreen – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 1:55 p.m. Observation Location: Mountain St. Common Name: Spotted Wintergreen Scientific Name: Chimaphila maculata Comments: Spotted wintergreen is a highly recognizable understory species having variegated leaves with pale green veins. It is endangered in Maine. More Information: Go Botany

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Tree Cricket – 8/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 1:52 p.m. Observation Location: Mountain St. Common Name: Tree Cricket Scientific Name: Oecanthus spp. Comments: The tree cricket is also known as poor man’s thermometer, because if you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 you get the temperature close to the Fahrenheit temperature outdoors. More Information: Wikipedia

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Halberd-leaved Tearthumb – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 1:50 p.m. Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill Common Name: Halberd-leaved Tearthumb Scientific Name: Persicaria arifolia Comments: Halberd-leaved tearthumb has distinctly arrow-shaped leaves with outward-pointing projections at the base. The stem is covered with small downward-curving barbs that gives this small annual wetland vine its common name. A halberd is a medieval battleaxe. More Information: Go Botany

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