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mole Oct 9, 2009 6:14 AM

An Autumn stroll
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Last few days have been bright & clear & full of the sounds and sights of early autumn. Not much time for photography - busy with lots of school groups. But here are a few shots taken in passing...

First the view of our lake on the way to work yesterday morning. You can see the autumnal tints beginning!

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:17 AM

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Many caterpillars are getting close to pupation. Here are some Black Swallowtail caterpillars and a Brown-Hooded Owlet caterpillar, each on its favorite host plant (Queen Anne's Lace for the swallowtails, Aster for the owlet).

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:19 AM

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The smaller Bee species are very busy gathering the last of the season's pollen and nectar from the last of the blooms. Notice that one of these bees looks like she is being a bit rude - sticking her tongue out at you!

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:22 AM

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One group of school children surprised this Praying Mantis in the midst of lunch. They also found an egg sac nearby!

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:23 AM

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There are still a surprising number of butterflies out and active, despite the cool weather. Here's a Painted Lady, enjoying a butterflybush planted at a nearby schoolyard.

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:24 AM

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But there are also plenty of Fall signs - in the ripening leaves and ripening fruits. It's been a great year for Hackberries - but they won't last long with all the hungry birds around!

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:25 AM

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And each day brings a new autumnal "crop" of wild mushrooms!

mole Oct 9, 2009 6:26 AM

Should have some more time next week to get "out on the trail" a bit. Hope your trails are smooth ones this weekend!

hiro1963 Oct 9, 2009 8:30 AM

Beautiful sets of pics!!! Natural... Great storytelling captures!

ennacac Oct 9, 2009 8:46 AM

Very nice shots, those day are gone here, it is 32 F (0 C) here this morning which is about 10 colder than it normally is this time of year.


Dal1970 Oct 9, 2009 11:44 AM

Wonderful shots, Mole

Always amazed at the huge amount of colour you have available - everthing over here seems so drab in comparison

penolta Oct 9, 2009 12:59 PM

Excellent as always. I especially like the composition of #1, 3, and the last two - the first and last are stunning images. The way the swallowtail and its host plant are shown is a unique perspective - very effective. You get even better with each series. :oogle:

mole Oct 9, 2009 4:50 PM

Thanks for all the kind and helpful comments!

Hiro - glad you liked the stories as well as the photos. Thanks!

Tom - we're about to have a big storm that may knock off a lot of the leaves just before peak. But it sure is a lot warmer here!! Keep warm!

Dal - Thanks! This is a beautiful part of our country - of course, your region has much that is beautiful too - just more subtle...

Penolta - how nice of you to say so! Thanks for the kind and specific comments!!

Rodney9 Oct 9, 2009 11:09 PM

The first shot should be on a wall.
The first Praying Mantis shot should be in National Geographic.
The mushroom shot I just love.


Goldwinger Oct 11, 2009 2:35 PM

Mole, The first one just blows me away! I wish I had had another week to spend up there, there was just so much to see!
The praying Mantis is a lot better than the one I managed to get. :)

Keltech Oct 11, 2009 8:58 PM

Nice series! Love the Mantis. I have not seen one in a long time. They camouflage so well.

I will have to look more carefully at Queen Ann Lace next year for signs of the Swallowtail caterpillars.


mole Oct 12, 2009 6:30 AM

Rodney - thanks so much - glad you liked them!

GW - Glad you enjoyed your time "Tennesseeing!"

Lou - we have seen lots of P Mantids this year, and a surprising number of their native cousins, Carolina Mantids. But the Black Swallowtails were very scarce - I was very glad to be able to spot just these few.

mtngal Oct 13, 2009 2:39 PM

Very nice series! While I still haven't finished going through my vacation photos, I'm home sick today and so am playing catch-up with the photo threads. Yours are always so much fun to look at. I love that first one, just awesome.

Gumnut Oct 14, 2009 12:23 AM

an excellent series
well photographed and informative
i sure like your treks :)

mole Oct 14, 2009 6:50 AM

Harriet - Hope you get back to good health very soon! Thanks for the kind comments, and will look forward to seeing all your great photos soon!

John - Thanks so much for your kind comments!

nhmom Oct 14, 2009 5:39 PM

Lovely, mole. I agree with Rodney's take on the images. The same ones I had been admiring.

Hope you feel better soon, Harriet. I'm still trying to find time to go through photos I had taken before I went to California, let alone them and ones I've taken since. I'm just now getting time to come back here and try to catch up on what I missed on the forum.


NonEntity1 Oct 15, 2009 8:32 PM

Wow Mole, that first landscape is great and the mantis shots, especially the first one, are equally impressive. Hmmm, I can retire from my current job in seven years, think you can hook me up with TN state parks?


mole Oct 17, 2009 5:27 PM

Patty - thanks for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed them, and hope you are settling back in at home OK!

Tim - Thanks so much! We're not hiring much right now, but can always use volunteers!!!

Vole Oct 31, 2009 1:44 PM

i have to say that my favorite is the caterpiller using the plants as a hammock! that and the preying mantis biting the head off of the bug : )

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