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November 2011

Durham, NC  11/30/11

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker Probably the same woodpecker, later      

Durham, NC  11/29/11

Male Eastern Bluebird Young Yellow-rumped Warbler      

Third Fork Trail, Durham, NC  11/28/11

Female Fall Cankerworm Moth (Alsophila pometaria), a Geometridae family member Asian Multi-colored Ladybug Beetle and tiny spider      

Jordan Lake (bridge at NC-751), Chatham County, NC  11/26/11

After a hard freeze and several inches of rain, the mudflats were gone and a new large creek made it impossible to walk along the far (east) end of the lake.  A few gulls near the south side of the lake were visible, and a Great Blue Heron appeared briefly on the east end of the lake.

Jordan Lake waterfront, showing partially submerged trees Jordan Lake, far end Pond, west side Pond, north side Pond, west side, close up

Ichneumon wasp Willow Minnows with maple leaf in new creek    

Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC  11/26/11

Pond, with a natural oily sheen caused by the breakdown of organic matter.  Its source could be anything from bacteria to insect exuviae (molted exoskeletons). Tufted Titmouse (I think!) in early nest-building stages Sweetgum    

Durham, NC  11/22/11

Female Eastern Bluebird        

Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC   11/22/11

It was the second warm day in a row.  Cumulo-stratus clouds coming from the Gulf of Mexico crossed the sky regularly.  I spotted a very noisy Red-headed Woodpecker high in the trees, among many other birds.

Common Buckeye Rabid Wolf Spider, relatively large and moving fast Spotted Cucumber Beetle    

Durham, NC  11/21/11

It was unseasonably warm, generally beautiful.  But two days ago, we got our first hard freeze and the tree leaves all turned brown.  In an important sense, our winter has begun.  But some early spring flowers came out and small insects and spiders appeared in uncut grass near a creek.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, in breeding plumage.  Seen on the Third Fork Creek Trail. Female Downy Woodpecker Rabid Wolf Spider Tarnished Plant Bug Rove beetle, about 2 mm long, was flying in the air when I caught it.  The elytra are raised in preparation for flight.

Blackbirds in Sweetgum Ant Common Chickweed Clover Neighborhood scene  

Oak leaf Mock Strawberry      

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC 11/20/11

Our first outing after the big freeze!  The ground was covered with brown leaves and the broad-leaved trees had nothing but, also.  A few very frisky insects remained, although their prospects were dim.  The saddest case was that of a honeybee that searched in the leaves of several locations at this gloomy location.

Question Mark, well-camouflaged among thousands of dead leaves covering the ground Honeybee looking for something among the leaves.      

Durham, NC  11/19/11

Giant Wolf Spider        

Durham, NC  11/17/11

Today some blackbirds, probably Red-winged Blackbirds, flew through my neighborhood swamp-turning-into-a-marsh.

Blackbirds flying More blackbirds flying Nothing but blackbirds flying    

Northern Mockingbird Song Sparrow      

Durham, NC  11/15/11

Clouded Sulphur Oak leaves Red and yellow Red Maple and Sweet Gum leaves, brown White Oak leaves    

Durham, NC  11/14/11

Field Cricket Tree Stink Bug    

Pitt County Arboretum, Greenville, NC  11/13/11

Ailanthus Webworm Moth, one of four Spotted Cucumber Beetle Flower fly (Helophilus fasciatus) Firewheels Tachinid fly (Phasia genus), obviously very tiny!

North River Park, Greenville, Pitt County, NC  11/13/11

White Fishing Spider (Dolomedes albineus) Sleepy Orange (winter form) Crane Fly Orchid winter leaf Water Tupelo and Bald Cypress Water Tupelos

Washington, Beaufort County, NC  11/12/11

American Coot, with distinctive foot showing Killdeer Killdeers flying Northern Mockingbird  

Plantainleaf Arrowhead, whole plant Buds, flower and fruits of Plantain Arrowhead (Sagittaria platyphylla) Tree Swallow in flight    

Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC  11/10/11

Polydesmid millipede Young jumping spider (Phidippus clarus?) False Black Widow Spider Scarab beetle

Sandy Creek, Durham, NC  11/9/11

Checkered Skipper        

Durham, NC  11/9/11

Small orb weaver (Mangora placida) False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa)    

Durham, NC  11/8/11

Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) American Lady Winged ant Millipede

American House Spider with Pselliopus cinctus prey Leafhopper      

Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham, NC  11/6/11

Field near the parking lot Wooded hill Worn Common Buckeye on the ground    

Durham, NC  11/6/11

Carolina Chickadee        

American Tobacco Trail, Durham County, NC  11/5/11

Flower fly (Spilomyia longicornis) Red Maple Maple leaf    

Jordan Lake Gameland, Chatham County, NC  11/3/11

The shallowest waters of the lake contained countless fairly well-camouflaged water boatmen, "true bugs" 1-2 mm long.  Hydrophorus genus long-legged flies skated nearby on the water surface, blown by a fairly strong wind, occasionally clinging to vegetation.  Large fish frequently leaped out of the water as close as 20 feet away.  Farther inland, the Valley Redstems were starting to fade, though still bright red.

Pond joined to the lake by a stream Same pond Northern Flicker, one of several on the ground that saw me before I saw them and flew away. Valley Redstems

Four Water Boatmen with a tiny leaf A single Water Boatman, showing its oarlike appendages Damselfly (maybe Rambur's Forktail) with prey, which seems to be a spider attacking a still smaller arthropod. Long-legged fly (Hydrophorus genus), clinging to a leaf in a strong wind Mosquito pupa, seen in a deep puddle at the base of a tree stump.  Most of its "tail" is coiled underneath.  

Mosquito pupa, with interesting debris, maybe its larval exoskeleton A marshy area near the far side of the lake.  The green matter is algae. Monarch (in parking lot)      

Lake Crabtree County Park, Wake County, NC  11/2/11

The path around Lake Crabtree is about 7.5 miles long.  The south side of the lake is heavily wooded right up to the water, while the other side has a large marshy inlet.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, which appeared in the bushes just a few inches away and came up to take a brief, curious look. European Hornet, several flies and many small ants apparently seeking sap from this pine tree. Sea Myrtle (Baccharis halimfolia) Dog Fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) Persimmon tree

Near the start From the other side of the lake The boat landing, seen from the other side Sea Myrtles in the foreground

A marsh farther inland, with pines Another part of that marsh, showing some broadleaf trees The one park building, seen from across the lake    

Scene from path next to bridge crossing back aross the lake Scene from near that bridge Sort of an optical illusion: the office building is actually at the far end of the lake, about half a mile from the one park building.    

Copyright © 2011 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.  Please contact for rights to use photos.