Thunderstorm, Female Diana, Katydids, Red-shouldered Hawk

It’s no secret to anyone in the South that it’s been unseasonably hot and dry. We just had a wonderful thunderstorm that dropped an inch and a half of rain on us. I hope others got it, too. The woods have been awfully dry for the past few weeks, and some of the trees – especially the dogwoods – have been looking real stressed.

The female Diana butterfly has started to fly. They are the dark ones, thought to be a Batesian mimicry of the bad tasting Pipevine Swallowtail. They don’t have a swallowtail, but they must be close enough to fool their predators. The males are the orange ones.

The katydids were in full cry last night for the first time. They have been singing a bit in the day, and in fits and starts at night, but not in a sustained way. Last night, they were really singing loudly the way they do toward the end of the season.

We’ve been seeing a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk around the neighborhood. They’re a shy hawk that hangs out in the woods and has several tail bands. They are most similar to the Broad-winged Hawk, which has fewer tail bands.

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