August 09, 2018

If you plant it...

Several years ago, I attended a butterfly talk. I don't remember who the speaker was, I *think* it was at a Wallingford Garden Club meeting. My biggest takeaway from that talk was the importance of planting for butterflies, specifically Joe-pye weed for the uncommon (at least in Connecticut) Leonard's skipper. I don't know why this skipper fascinated me or why I decided to plant Joe-pye weed. I didn't even know what a Leonard's skipper looked like.

For years, I watched various butterflies, bees, and other insects visit my gardens, including the Joe-pye weed. When I joined iNaturalist a few years ago, it gave me a better way to keep an eye out for this elusive skipper.

In 2017, I decided to plant a butterfly and pollinator garden. It's a work in progress. I moved the Joe-pye weed into this garden, along with lots of other butterfly-friendly plants. Around a month ago, I added a couple of little bluestem grasses to the garden.

And then, it happened. At least, I think. I would love another confirmation or two to be sure, but I *think* a Leonard's skipper finally came to my gardens.

If you plant it, they will come. ... Eventually. ... Maybe.

Posted on August 09, 2018 04:04 AM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 13, 2018

My Year of the Warbler

As I looked through the list of birds that I have observed here in Connecticut, I realized that I was really lacking in warbler observations. I decided that this would be my Year of the Warbler. I still have a lot of warblers still to discover, but it has led me to being still and observing and listening, and as a result I have seen more birds new to me. I have revisited a couple of places when I could return by myself to take the time I wanted to find these beautiful little birds. As a result, I have seen a hooded warbler, Canada warbler, and Wilson's warbler, along with a few others. And, I have met some really nice people along the way, particularly the day I photographed the hooded warbler. An older lady I chatted with said that she hadn't seen once since she was a girl, and she was excited to see one again after so many years.

What a great way to spend a day.

Posted on June 13, 2018 01:25 AM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 01, 2017

Thank you!

I'm grateful for those with expertise in different areas identifying some of my observations. I've had several lichens, flies, and bees identified recently.

Thank you!

Posted on December 01, 2017 12:50 PM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 16, 2016

Road trip!

I'm getting ready to go on vacation. We're making a significant detour, and I'm trying to see the silver lining in that detour as an opportunity to explore someplace new. Once we get to our final destination, part of it is quite familiar, but when viewed through my iNaturalist lens, it's almost as if I'm going to a whole new place. This is a good thing. In the past, walks were just walks spent going from point A to point B. Now, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Cliche, I know, but true. Today we went to Cedar Mountain in Newington, Conn. I knew that a trail ran from this road to that road, and a side trail brought you to an overlook. It was only a half-mile trail, just fine on this hot, muggy day. Well, let's just say that we never found that trail and instead wandered random trails on the side of the mountain, and we were all okay with it. We'll find the overlook another trip. My daughter, who is 7, thought is was a really good walk. My kids are learning to be much more aware of their surroundings wherever we go. They notice some of the smaller things that I might miss. My excuse is that they're closer to the ground. :)

As I'm planning my trip, I'm using iNaturalist to figure out where I might want to go and what I might see. I went to one state park last summer and did not have nearly enough time to spend there. This time, I'm prepared. I printed a list of what's been seen in the park because it's a pretty sparse list and many of the observations are mine. I even packed my hammock. I need to test it out while bird watching, of course.

Posted on July 16, 2016 04:50 AM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 05, 2016

First BioBlitz

On June 3-4, I participated in my first BioBlitz. It was so much fun, and I am so grateful to everyone who shared their knowledge with me, whether in person or by helping me identify some of the many lifeforms I observed. I'm pretty good at finding things and taking photos, but I'm not as good at identifying what I've found. I've already got one field guide added to my wish list (thank you, Sigrun), and I'll be adding more. I also learned (and am still learning) what plant parts to photograph to help with identification at home.

It was fun to have an excuse to explore new areas, and I definitely wish that I had more time to explore a couple of the places I visited.

The best part of the blitz was getting to meet some of you, including @kueda and @mickley.

I'm looking forward to the next BioBlitz, whenever and wherever that may be. :)

Kelly

Posted on June 05, 2016 07:22 PM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 6 observations | 3 comments | Leave a comment

September 21, 2015

New cell phone...

My grandfather was a great amateur photographer. He has been gone 10 years now, and I miss him (and my grandmother) often. Every time I get a new cell phone, I can't help but think how delighted and amazed he would be to see the photo quality from a cell phone. About three weeks ago, my last phone ended up in the ocean. I finally got a new phone, and the photo quality is amazing. I now have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5, and I can't wait to play with it. I took a few pictures with it yesterday. It was quite a breezy day, but I managed to get some nice pictures. I couldn't believe how closely I could zoom in to the lichen. This will be fun!

Posted on September 21, 2015 11:32 PM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 17, 2015

Someday a DSLR

I miss my SLR. I miss manual focus.

I currently have a Canon PowerShot. It's okay for everyday photography, but not for trying to focus on distant insects and tiny flowers. I am at the mercy of autofocus on my camera and also my cell phone. It's so frustrating to watch my target appear in focus only to quickly become a blur. Forget trying to focus on a tiny spider in a web. Fortunately, I am usually able to get at least a pretty good image from both devices.

I am hoping that by next summer, I can purchase a new camera. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, but I'd love something that helps me take better photos.

Posted on July 17, 2015 01:49 AM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 2 comments | Leave a comment

July 03, 2015

Mushrooms galore!

I have a new appreciation for mushrooms. They are everywhere. I've become more aware of them, and today I took two of my kids and a niece and nephew with me for a walk. They did an amazing job spotting mushrooms for me, and I love seeing them in the process of erupting from the earth. If you can help me identify any of them, I will really appreciate it. Generally, they all look different to me, so my apologies if I repeated myself.

Posted on July 03, 2015 12:13 AM by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg | 0 comments | Leave a comment