WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 22nd, 2010

White Spotted Sable Moth

Jul 22

The White Spotted Sable Moth is a mostly northern species. It can be found as far south as North Carolina but you’d have a better chance of seeing on if you lived in Newfoundland. In the west they range from the Northwest Territories south to Colorado and California. In between you can look for them in Michigan and Minnesota. This moth can also be found throughout Eurasia.

White Spotted Sable Moth
Anania funebris

The subspecies found in North America is often listed as Anania funebris glomeralis

Adults are day fliers and can be seen visiting flowers. The larvae feed on goldenrod (Solidago spp.) and Dyer’s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria)

What caught my eye was the orange tuffs, not that the white spots on black wings wasn’t noticeable enough. It does show a wiseacre sense of fashion by adding some white stripes on the body.

You are free to leave comments saying I dress like a clown.

  White Spotted Sable Moth

Anania funebris glomeralis

There’s a similar looking moth, the Eight-spotted Forester (Alypia octomaculata) but it is considerably larger and has additional tuffs on the legs. As you can see in the photo below this moth has shaved legs making it a White Spotted Sable

White Spotted Sable moth

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…and now for something not completely different

An American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis was also spotted fluttering about the milkweed.

American Lady Butterfly

Nearly everyone has a chance to spot one of these fine Ladies. Whether or not one gives you a stuck up face I guess is entirely dependent upon your perspective.

American Lady Butterfly - Vanessa virginiensis

These flutterbys were found in a milkweed patch along the Middle Branch of the Grass River.
July 17th.

Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 20th, 2010

Wild Lily of the Valley

Jul 20

AKA: Canada Mayflower

Flowers and cleft leaf
Canada Mayflower
  A berry nice wildflower

As the name implies this native wildflower Blooms in May. This year I found them in bloom on May 18th but didn’t manage to get a photo worth squat. Last year I managed to get this photo just in time on May 30th. Not the best flower photo but it does give you a clear look at the deeply cleft leaf. Canada Mayflower usually has 2 leaves but sometimes it may sport a third.

Wild Lily of the Valley is widespread in St. Lawrence County, NY. There is a scattering of them in the woods along the Grasse river near Morley (Town of Canton) where I took last years flower photo. Along the Middle Branch of the Grasse River in the Town of Clare they’re far more prolific. It was at the Stillwater Club I found these ripening berries.

Wild Lily of the Valley – Canada Mayflower
Maianthemum canadense

Ripening Berries
Canada Mayflower berries

The ripening berries are mottled but turn a pale red when ripe. These berries are close.

Wild Lily of the Valley berries

…and now for something completely different

A yellow headed Virginia Ctenucha – Ctenucha virginica peaks out from behind a milkweed flower while a Coral Hairstreak – Satyrium titus (My best GUESS and I’m probably wrong) enjoys a sip of nectar.
Meet me at the Milkweed
Coral Hairstreak - maybe

I’ve always had trouble getting a good photo of wild Cardinal Flowers. Sunlight combined with the intense red color of the flowers has always given any camera I’ve used a hard time. Getting a good macro shot can be even harder since the focal range is usually out of whack because the flower with it’s united stamens that form a tube extend just a bit too far to get the whole flower in focus.

A lone Cardinal Flower beckoned me each time I crossed the bridge at the Stillwater Club. I kept ignoring it because it meant going over the rail and climbing down the huge boulder holding up the middle of the bridge. At my age and in my condition that is not the brightest thing to do. It was better than getting swept off my feet trying to wade across to the island but not by much. With two days of hiking I had only spotted two plants and this was the ‘accessible’ one so I finally gave in and climbed down at dusk.

Stillwater Club bridge

It was well worth the risk. This is probably my best photo of the flowers.

Wild Cardinal Flowers

Looking for Cardinal Flowers?
Stone Valley in the Town of Colton is a hot spot. Just follow the Raquette River.
The banks of the Grasse River near Morley have some dotting the shoreline right now.

Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 19th, 2010

Wintergreen Flowers

Jul 19

…and more.

I had the chance to explore some of the area around the Middle Branch of the Grasse River in the Adirondack Park this weekend. After two day of hiking (wandering around) I came home with plenty of photos, a couple of mysteries explained and a pair of extremely sore legs.

The first thing I spotted was Wintergreen. It seemed to be everywhere. What ‘made my day’ was finally finding some in bloom.

Wintergreen – Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen - Gaultheria procumbens

I don’t know if I was early or late but there were only a few flowers to be found.

Wintergreen flowers

Another Wintergreen flower

Wintergreen flower

I collected a bunch of leaves and kept sticking them under the noses of the other ‘campers’ (hunting lodge) after crushing them up. Good thing the aroma had a calming effect on them.

AKA: Teaberry
I have a post from last year, Nov. 25th with photos of the berries – Wintergreen. There are a couple of nice photos there if i do say so myself.


And now for something completely different.

Matchstick Lichen – Cladonia cristatella

AKA: British Soldiers
I’ve posted other photos of British Soldiers but this has to be one of the best.
Matchstick lichen - Cladonia cristatella

British Soldiers are common enough and I see them often but only as isolated outposts. What made this discovery hard to believe was the fact that I stumbled smack dab into the British Army. I was hard pressed to not step on any as I walked. I estimate they covered well over an acre of barren ground. It was rocky (from sand to basketball sized rock) with nothing you could call soil under a blanket of moss and lichens. In one spot the area was once used as a gravel pit.


Now here’s a new pretty that I promise will show up again.
I found this moth hanging out on some Joe Pye-weed flowers.

Virginia Ctenucha – Ctenucha virginica

Ctenucha virginica

Now that I have this moth identified I’m ready to take more photos. I should have no problems getting more pics, these moths seem to be everywhere I go.


Say ‘Good Night’ wiseacre.
Last light over the Middle Branch of the Grasse River. Taken from the upper deck of the Stillwater Club lodge, July 17.
Sunset over the Grasse River, middle branch

I’ll get to the mysteries another time. One involves a single berry forming from twin flowers and the other is a ghost story of sorts. Each deserves it’s own post and I promise I’ll post them soon.

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