Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Thursday, August 25, 2011

short-winged blister beetles

I had two of these cool-looking critters on one of my jack-in-the-pulpit plants. Good thing I didn't try to touch them - they can exude a fluid that causes blisters. But I didn't know that then - I took photos so I could ID them. It took me a while since their wings are not at all obvious so I thought they didn't have wings - I wondered if they were the larvae of something. In the end, it was a "go through the insect guide page by page until you find a matching picture" process, but that did work and here are some pictures of Meloe angusticollis.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Potato bean

These pretty flowers belong to the groundnut - a common food source in colonial times, and probably in the early years of nationhood as well. Here is a bit of local information about them. They are a legume, but also have edible tubers - hence the name potato bean, which is the first name I learned for this plant. Other plants also go by the name groundnut, but this is the only one I know of in my region. I didn't find this info in any of the references I looked at, but the potato bean flower has a sweet, pleasant scent that is enhanced by the warm sun (as are most flower scents, I think). I wonder if these would grow in my yard? These are growing in some open land up the street from my house. Apparently they are pretty easy to transplant via the tubers, but I wonder if I have enough sun. Could be a good experiment...

Friday, August 5, 2011

High summer meadow

Goldenrod & Purple Loosestrife - hard to see the Joe-pye-weed