Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinals are common permanent residents at Chert Hollow Farm. (Nesting has been confirmed though observation of recently fledged young birds during the summer.)

The female in the photo below may have collided with a window before we found her. She flew away not long after Eric took her photo.


Juniper Stink Bug


In fall of 2013, these Juniper Stink Bugs (aka Jade Stink Bug) were common in both firewood and lumber piles, especially in a pile of milling scrap from Easter Redcedar trees (a type of juniper).

Identification references:

Three-Toed Box Turtle

One of two box turtle species at Chert Hollow Farm.bio_three-toed_box_turtleMating generally occurs late spring to early summer. This photo is from June 17, 2014.

On the evening of June 6, 2015, a female dug a nest in a young patch of sweet corn in our main vegetable field: june_natural_turtle_nesting

This nest had at least two young on October 30, 2015. Photo on left shows one (next to a walnut for scale). It was about an inch below the soil surface in the same nest location. The photo on right shows the shell of a sibling below, but I did not dig it out or determine the total count of young in an effort to minimize disturbance to the nest.oct_natural_baby_turtle


Spotted Apatelodes Moth

I saw this moth resting on a sage plant one morning in early June and grabbed the camera; it is not one that we see routinely:bio_moth_Apatelodes_torrefacta

The Butterflies and Moths of North America website has more information on this species. This sighting is recorded in their database.

Silvery Checkerspot

The Silvery Checkerspot is a fairly common butterfly at Chert Hollow Farm. This one was visiting the clover in the aisles of a vegetable growing area:bio_silvery_checkerspot

The Butterflies and Moths of North America website has more information on this species.

Wavy-Lined Emerald

This moth was resting on the house one morning in September 2013:bio_Synchlora_aerata

The Butterflies and Moths of North America website has more information on this species.

Eastern Comma

Eastern Commas are relatively common at Chert Hollow Farm; this one found its way into the greenhouse, where I photographed it one morning in late May 2014:





Indigo Bunting

Indigo Buntings are common summer birds that breed at Chert Hollow Farm. They are especially common in the main vegetable field, where they feed on plant matter and arthropods (hopefully lots of pests), and where we enjoy watching them.

We occasionally find nests in tall vegetation (look closely in the lower section of the photo):


Here’s a closeup of that nest. It has three Indigo Bunting eggs (the small ones) and three Brown-Headed Cowbird eggs (the big speckled ones). bio_indigo_bunting_nest


Lily Twayblade

This pretty orchid blooms in late May to early June in one small patch along the path from the packing barn to the produce field. This is the only place we’ve seen it, and not necessarily a place we’d expect to see an orchid. It is in a dense cedar thicket with few other wildflowers in one of the most historically eroded/abused parts of the farm. Deep gullies (that we speculate were the result of a past hog lot) neighbor it on two sides, but this orchid persists, and we enjoy seeing it.


A closeup of the flower:



Beautiful Wood-Nymph (aka Bird Dropping Moth)

I photographed this one day while picking okra. I had grabbed the camera to photograph a Spring Peeper that was hanging out on an okra leaf, and so I was on the lookout for other interesting critters, as well. When I saw this, my first impression was, “Hey, it is a bird dropping.” But it seemed too symmetrical, so I took a closer look, wondering if it was one of the caterpillars that mimics bird droppings, and to my surprise, it flew. After it settled down, I snapped this photo.