Saturday, September 7, 2013

September countdown

Shout it: summer's not over! 

© Steve Cadwell 2013

This morning offered us this scene: purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and the beautiful flowering daisy-like plant behind it. I don't have an ID on the flowering plant, a gift years ago from a dear, sweet woman who volunteered for the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, but I think it might be heliopsis. If you can tell me what it is, I'd be grateful.

A little earlier we saw this guy (or gal) slowly walking up the frame of the garage door. I don't know why I thought katydid, but that was a hunch and only a hunch.

(It's like Miley Cyrus. I know the name. I've seen pictures. I vaguely knew who she was prior to her getting international attention at this year's VMAs, and she appears to be headed for that phenomenon of being famous for being famous. But, put her in a lineup and I would be lucky to even think of her name let alone be able to identify her.)

Thanks to the power of Facebook, we had an answer within minutes of posting a photo. Katydid indeed, said FB friend and naturalist Stephanie. Another FB friend (and neighbor), Pam, added it's also known as a leaf bug. It reminds me of a stealth bomber the way it's angled, as if aero-engineers might have borrowed the design. Not really an example of biomimicry (like burrs and velcro) but interesting similarities. (Wait, do katydids need to evade radar? Avoiding bats, perhaps? Nah. That's echolocation.)

Finally, early this evening we saw and heard hundreds of European starlings in the trees behind our neighbor's house. Couldn't get any pictures. The birds were loud!

Both pics taken with iPhone 4S


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