Hurdman in late September

Plant Bug on Chicory

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.


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.

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