Hermit Sphinx

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I found this on wild bergamot (Mondarda sp.) while moving fences for a goat paddock in late September 2015; the black spot made it look like an empty hollowed-out shell of organic matter, and only with a second look did I realize it was a caterpillar.

I brought it inside to raise the caterpillar in a jar, but it turns out that it had been visited by a parasitoid wasp, possibly Cotesia congregata.

Kentucky Warbler

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A migratory bird that nests at Chert Hollow Farm. They generally arrive in April, and we routinely see them through the early summer months.

Osage Copperhead

Although I don’t have a photo to prove it, we saw an Osage Copperhead on June 22, 2015 in the growing area south of the house. This is the only definite sighting on the farm since we’ve been here, though I briefly saw a snake with copperhead-like patterning in the same general area near dusk on a summer evening in 2014.

Midland Brown Snake

Perhaps our most commonly encountered snake, Midland Browns are often present in the mulched beds of our produce growing areas. midland_brown

Prairie Kingsnake

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This is a snake we really appreciate having around, as Prairie Kingsnakes eat rodents, and we often see them hunting in rodent burrows in the vegetable fields.

Western Worm Snake

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An uncommonly encountered species at Chert Hollow Farm. I found this one on the forest floor while raking leaves for mulch in March 2007.

Luna Moth

Luna Moths are large, showy moths that we see infrequently, maybe one every year or two on average. (Sightings sometimes involve only a wing of a bird-eaten moth, not a live specimen.) So when Eric returned to the house from morning chores on July 13, 2013 with a report of a mating pair, we grabbed the camera and went back for photos. These were on a Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) near a woodland edge, not far from the main vegetable field.

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