November was a dry & cool month, with about half the average precipitation and average temperatures below normal. It was a pretty month, with fairly stable weather and lingering fall colors, another in our string of very nice months this fall. We somehow managed to take a few nice photos during the month, despite the intense busy-ness involved in wrapping up the CSA year, hosting Thanksgiving, and myriad other demands on our time.
Finding time for a few walks allowed us to enjoy our deeper woods, rarely visited during the growing season.
This year we’ve noticed many hives of ground-nesting hymenopterans (bees/wasps) around the farm, especially forested or semi-forested areas. The one photographed above had been dug out by something (raccoon? possum?), as had several others we saw this year. One nest in particular stayed active well into the fall and blocked our ability to take down some net fencing. We’re not sure of the species ID overall (or whether all the nests were even the same species), though Eric was pretty sure the active nest hosted Yellow Jackets. Anyone have advice on identification of excavated hymenoptera nests?
Joanna always enjoys learning new grasshopper species. This one appears to be the Northwestern Red-Winged Grasshopper, a species that tends to be active late into the fall, according to the description in Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States.
It’s been a relatively strong mast year, with acorns and hickory nuts especially carpeting the ground. You could hear the pigs cracking hickory nuts with their strong jaws from surprisingly far away. Food production like this will have ramifications for the wildlife population, especially deer & turkeys. We also found this attractive lichen on a stick.
RECORDED IN NOVEMBER (31 species, 3 new relative to October, 15
unobserved since October).
Similar numbers to last November, with a few different species. We likely missed a few things, it was such a busy month.
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture (seen just once, usually south by now)
Red-Shouldered Hawk (this surprised us)
Bald Eagle (roosting in a Sycamore tree along our pasture)
Grey Catbird (unusual this late, but clearly seen on 11/12 by both of us)