Weekly Notes – September 22, 2013

Full Moon with Migrating bird

Full Moon with Migrating Bird

Did you see the full Harvest Moon this past week?  Did you know that many birds migrate at night?  Robin Follette, former Editor of Maine Nature News snapped this picture of the moon with a bird flying in front of it.  In the coming week, step outside in the quiet of the night and listen.  You may hear the slight chirps of birds flying overhead on their way south.

Today is the Fall Equinox when the number of daylight hours is about the same as the number of nighttime hours.  The earth’s tilt positions the sun directly over the equator today and for the next six months the Southern Hemisphere will enjoy spring and summer.

Speaking of migrating birds, you may still get an opportunity to see warblers on their way south or in preparation for spring, download this guide for easy warbler identification.  Click here for the Princeton guide to warbler identification….

Wolf Spider

The picture above does not show how large the spider really is.  I believe this is a wolf spider, a member of the Lycosidae family.  They are named as such because of their ferocious hunting techniques.  They are often found near sink drains or hiding in the corner of the outhouse waiting to catch a fly.  Although harmless, their size can be startling when their presence is not expected.

Although they are not web weavers, this spider was stringing a few lines of silk under the eaves of the house and down across the window.  It must have known the flies seem to use that passageway anytime the kitchen window is cracked.  The lines are used by the spider to move quickly in reaching potential prey rather than as a trap.

In the woods, Wolf Spiders are ground hunters.  I once saw one walking across a gravel road carrying its young on it back.  It reminded me of a little evergreen cone with legs and was certainly one of my most memorable nature observations.  Something not often seen.

Below is a picture of the fruit of Highbush Cranberry.  The blossoms were in the Weekly notes – June 23, 2013.

Highbush Cranberry with Fruit