S'Moths and S'Mores: Sunday Night

Check this blog for possible weather cancellation. Lightning or thunder cancel.

Fyke Nature Association and the fine folks at the Fell House are among the thousands of individuals and scores of organizations around the world participating in the second annual National Moth Week this week.

On Sunday, July 31, from 8:30 to 10 p.m., we're hosting a free Moth Ball at the Fell House, featuring several moth-attracting lights (both mercury vapor and back lights) -- and some nifty moths dancing under the bright lights.

We might even have "Mothra vs. Godzilla" playing in the background. More info about National Moth Week follows.

Continue reading "S'Moths and S'Mores: Sunday Night" »

Upgrades at the Pirie-Mayhood Tower

IMG_0896A big tip o' the hat to Gaby Schmitt for all the continuing work she has done to clear the excess vegetation in front of the Pirie-Mayhood Tower so some pretty cool plants -- Butttonbush and Swamp Milkweed, for example -- can get some sun and room to grow.

Gaby writes:

For me, it's an enjoyable, ongoing project - especially when we can now see the bees (go pollinators!) and Common Yellow-throats in the swamp roses.

I'm hoping the uncovered plants/blossoms will also attract more varieties of butterflies. We've seen plenty of Cabbage Whites and the occasional Red Admiral.

And, a final note: maybe I'm tuned in a bit more to swampies now, for I've never noticed how many there are on the opposite shore, on either side of the mallard box. So lovely!

Thanks, Gaby!


Preying Mantis (Not for Squeamish)


Sandee Faust of Fair Lawn writes:

I walked out of the house and saw a butterfly.  It was only moving a little bit. 
As I got closer, I saw the Praying Mantis.  I ran into the house for the camera.  I never knew a Praying Mantis would eat a butterfly.   
It ate the entire body, but not the wings. (Thanks, Sandee, ... I think!)
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A Hummingbird Discovered

Mike Flom, a friend of the Celery Farm, writes:

I found this Ruby-throated Hummingbird in my garage by the Celery Farm this morning, making distressed chirps while fluttering against a closed window. 

As I gently guided it with a plastic rake toward the open garage door, the hummingbird paused on a flower-colored beach blanket. 
While no nectar was reported, it picked up nesting material before flying to freedom. 
(Thanks, Mike!)

A 36-year-old Poem about Stiles Thomas

What is it about Celery Farm Marsh Warden Emeritus Stiles Thomas that inspires folks to poetry?

Teppy Sojander is an artist and naturalist who was one of the original Celery Farm crew and long-time Fyker. She did lots of drawings for the Fyke newsletter for years.

She created this back in 1980.

In case you can't read the words to this four-verse limerick, here they are:

1. There once was a man with a gun
who kept hawks and ducks on the run.
   In a strange about-face
   He gave up the chase.
His fowl shooting days are now done.

2. Stiles traded his gun for binocs
And enjoyed feathered friends in great flocks.
   He's now cheek by jowl
   With any old fowl
That lurks in the marshy boondocks.

3. A defender of wildlife is he --
An ardent and true devotee
  Of the owl and the hawk
   And the Razor-billed Auk
And the bluebird that nests in the tree.

4. In Allendale where he took root,
At present it seems absolute
   That the Celery Farm
   Will come to no harm.
This bird man deserves a salute!

(You don't see many poems where the rhymes include "binocs" and "auk." )

(Great job, Teppy!)



A Big Adios to the Parnell's Path Obstruction

There has  been a nasty, dense overhang of Wild Grape vines, Multiflora Rose and dead tree branches at the start of Parnell's Path by the Boy Scout Platform, and last night's rain turned it to a nasty, sense low overhang.

No more.

Volunteer Matt Shippee of Ridgewood and I worked in the mass of vegetation for about an hour this afternoon.

Final Score:
Matt and Jim                      1
Annoying Overhang          0


Update: Matt and I did more tree-trimming Thursday.

(Thanks, Matt!)



Monday Morning Mystery 072516


In honor of National Moth Week, can you ID this moth? It was photographed in Pennsylvania by Nick Taryla,  a friend of Sandee Faust.

Fifth annual Meadowlands Moth Night is tonight at DeKorte Park. More info is here.

For more information on National Moth Week next week, click here.

Moth Night at the Fell House -- S'Moths and S'Mores -- is this Sunday, July 31.

A Few Backyard Moths and a Damselfly


Got out the moth lights the other night to remind myself of all the cool little nighttime critters we share this planet with. Here's some of what the lights attracted.

National Moth Week starts tonight, so maybe I'll have to get the moth lights out again.

Moth Night in the Meadowlands (which Don Torino of Bergen County and I started in 2012 in conjunction with the first National Moth Week) is Monday! Hope to see you there.

Fell House Moth Night is Sunday, July 31, the final night of nine-night National Moth Week. (Hope to see you there, too.)

Link is here.

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DeKorte Park Butterflies & Clear-winged Moth

IMG_0179Sorry I have to miss the annual Butterfly Day at DeKorte Park this year for the first time  -- Don Torino of Bergen County Audubon Society and I created the event seven years ago, and it has been growing every year since.

Earlier this week, I did a quick trip to DeKorte to see what was around -- and promptly saw a Snowberry Clear-winged Moth, a couple of Monarchs, a Silver-spotted Skipper and a Comma.