Quick Take: An Ode to Be Visited

"THIS WEEK AT HILTON POND" is always worth a visit, but this week they have an especially visit-worthy installment. "Ode to Goldenrod" is a photo essay with text devoted to the many small organisms that make their homes among these flowers. The photo essay is composed of large, perfectly focused close-up shots of creatures such as the jumping spider (shown gazing at the photographer calmly, using four of its eight eyes), the green lynx spider and a batch of its hatchlings, a katydid, several wasps, and of course the ever-present and always beloved bumblebee. The photos are all accompanied by text that discusses the life and habits of the creatures pictured.

"This Week at Hilton Pond" is a weekly newsletter posted to the website of the Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History. According to the author, Bill Hilton Jr., the newsletter is devoted to phenology, "the study of change in nature--including the unfolding of seasons and the sometimes subtle ways in which plants, animals, and habitats respond to different photoperiods, variations in temperature, and other biotic and abiotic factors." I had never heard that word until I read it at this website, but I think I will be using it often in future. (In fact, these days I often think that I am much more a phenologist than I am a gardener!) My only complaint about "This Week at Hilton Pond" is that they don't seem to maintain a browsable directory of entries. You can search the site for a topic if you know what you're looking for, or you can page through old entries in the series by working your way backwards from the current installment, but there is no list of topics you can browse. (Or at least I didn't find one.) But this is a quibble compared to the quality of the writing and photography on this blog.

For my own reflections on goldenrod, please see this post.

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