Goat Expressions

“I am having a good day, chewing my hay and waiting for judging at the Farm Show.” “Forget about that other goat, I am pretty confident that I am going to win first place.” “Grrrrr… Step away from the goat pen!”

Well, Hello There…

As I was cutting flowers, I ran across this big fellow. A quick internet search revealed it is a common garden spider called the Black and Yellow Argiope ( Argiope aurantia). They catch large insects such as grasshoppers and butterflies in their web. I decided I could pass on this flower and leave Mr. Spider…

Hummingbird Moths this Summer

The hummingbird moths were plentiful this summer, although they are disappearing now that the cooler weather is approaching. Here is one visiting a day lily that was actually still for a few moments.

Visitor in the Petunias

As I was walking by the flowers this afternoon, I looked up at a basket of petunias and came face-to-face with a very large frog who was enjoying his (or her) time in the basket. Being startled, I jumped a foot in the air but then I decide that it was a pretty interesting visitor…

Tiger Swallowtail – Male and Female

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly(Papilio glaucus) is one of the most common and easily identified butterflies. With the bright yellow color and distinctive stripes, it even has an easy-to-remember name. This is also a butterfly where it is easy to determine the male and female. The female has a row of blue on the open…

Sachem (Skipper)

Two Sachem Skipper butterflies (Atalopedes campestris) on Lantana blossoms. The greenish Sachem is the male. I believe the other Skipper is the female but did not get a clear identification. For anyone interested in butterfly identification, the Gardens with Wings site is very helpful in figuring out the correct name of the butterfly. You can search…

Question Mark

Another butterfly taking advantage of the butterfly bush — the Question Mark butterfly seen earlier this summer.


Silver-spotted Skipper, a very common small brown butterfly, stopping by the butterfly bush. More information about the silver-spotted skipper can be found at this link.

First Monarch

The Monarch butterflies are beginning to emerge. This is the first one I have seen this summer but I look forward to more butterflies stopping by in August.

Hummingbird Moth

The hummingbird moth, so named because of its resemblance to a hummingbird, is a moth that is constantly on the move with wings that beat very fast. It is hard to get a clear picture because of the moving wings and constant motion of the moth but it is fun to watch as it moves…

Eight Spots

Eight spotted forester moth (Species Alypia octomaculata) stopping by a Shasta daisy

Taking a Sip

Butterfly stopping by on a cone flower in the garden. I have not learned to identify butterflies, yet, other than the most common. Anyone know what this one is? Or is it a moth? Thanks for any help.

Stopping By

Early morning visitor to our backyard. “Uh oh, I just heard a shutter click from that pesky lady looking out the window at me. Time to head back  into the woods.”

Find the White Throat

Even though it is officially spring, we have a few of our “winter” birds still taking advantage of the bird seed. There are a some dark-eyed juncos and I saw this white throated sparrow today hopping among the spring flowers and weeds (Look in the back in front of the boulder). They will  leave soon for their summer…

Turkeys are Back

Two wild turkeys came wandering in the backyard today pecking at the stray bird seed on the ground. We have not seen the turkeys since last fall when we had groups of 20-30 roaming the yard regularly. One year on Thanksgiving day we had 30 turkeys in the yard, however we were satisfied with store-bought turkey rather than…

Flowers and Phoebes

You know that spring is arriving in our area when you hear the call of the Eastern Phoebe in the early morning. The phoebe is a small gray flycatcher and usually arrives in the early spring. According to local folklore, it is time to buy the Easter ham when you hear the phoebe. However, this year…

Goats on the Landfill

Lanchester Landfill, the big mountain west of Morgantown on the border of Lancaster and Chester Counties, has a resident population of goats and sheep that graze on the hillside.

Great Backyard Bird Count

This past weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. The four-day count is an opportunity for bird watchers from all over the United States and Canada to submit a list of the different species visiting their yards. Participants count birds for as little as 15…