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25 September 2010 @ 08:12 am
Hurdman in late September  

The summer season is definitely winding down at Hurdman. The Eastern Kingbirds, Yellow Warblers and Warbling Vireos are all gone, and migrants are moving through. On a previous outing two weeks ago I was thrilled to encounter a small pocket of warblers in the woods; among them were Magnolia, Black-and-white, Black-throated Green and Yellow-rumped Warblers as well as a couple of Northern Parulas and American Redstarts. The number of butterfly species that I have encountered lately, too, is beginning to dwindle. On recent outings I have only seen an unknown Polygonia (either an Eastern Comma or a Question Mark), a couple of Clouded Sulphurs and several Cabbage Whites.

Plant Bug on Chicory


When I stopped by the park during my lunch hour on Thursday, it seemed even migration had slowed down. I didn't see any noteworthy species of birds or butterflies, perhaps due to the unsettled weather we've been having lately. Despite the early promise of a wonderful fall season, the temperature has dropped and rainclouds have been moving through on a regular basis. It was overcast on my visit to Hurdman this week, and as there wasn't much to see I spent my time photographing the fall flowers instead.

Asters are a sign of fall, and are blooming profusely right now. They are a source of nectar for a number of insects, and although I checked many, I didn't see anything except for a few flies and bees.



Asters


Some chicory was still in bloom; these beautiful blue flowers are one of my favourite wildflowers. I was surprised to come across this plant bug in the center of one.



Chicory


Orbweaver spiders are still common in the vegetation beside the bike path. I found numerous Garden Cross Orbweavers and a few Banded Argiopes. One was close enough to the path for me to photograph her.



Banded Argiope


I also photographed this spider from the side. The front legs seem disproportionately long in this image:



Banded Argiope - side view


Some Spotted Jewelweed (aka Touch-me-not) was still in bloom along the bike path. These flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds, and although I check the two large patches of jewelweed I'm aware of every visit, this year I didn't see any.



Spotted Jewelweed


It was definitely a quieter walk than usual; hopefully it's not a sign of things to come this weekend.