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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Sandy Creek Park, Durham, NC

Sandy Creek Park is a small but very interesting natural area near a major highway exit.  Although most of the trail is along Sandy Creek, the trail leading from the far end of the parking lot to the main trail is the best spot to view insects: on one side is a pond also bordered by a grassy field.  I have seen a Chinese Mantis, a Dion Skipper and Red-necked Cone Borers in that area.  This pond borders a much larger lake in which are often seen large wading birds such as Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. The main trail is also a good place to see dozens of Boxelder Bugs mating in the early spring.  Horsetails abound on the creek side of the trail. 

See the live map of the park and environs at the bottom of the page.  The "A" locator isn't especially helpful on this map; you need to scroll lower to see the entrance to the park.

Sandy Creek Park, Durham, NC  8/25/14

Male Sachem Horse fly Pennsylvania Leatherwing Least Skipper Mystery wildflower

 
Male Widow Skimmer Virgin's Bower Virgin's Bower Female Horace's Duskywing  

5/31/11

 
Dion Skipper on Purple Coneflower Red-necked Cone Borers (Agrilus ruficollis): One female, two males, mating going on... Moth Mullein Female/immature Widow Skimmer  


       
Robber fly (Laphria divisor)        

4/8/11

 
American Lady Wolf spider, which walked easily on the surface of this puddle over to land Mallard family Bumble flower beetle Cuckoo bee (Nomada genus)


 
Orange Sulphur on Common Dandelion (note separate flower parts) Seven-spotted Ladybug Beetle, attempting to hide Forget-me-nots Canada Goose  

3/20/11

Green Six-spotted Beetle Large Bee Fly on spring Beauty flower Lesser Celandines Mysterious bushes Bee (Andrena genus)


 
Tufted Titmouse Rue Anemone Boxelder Bug seeming to hide under what look like Sycamore seeds.  Before, it scurried furiously, then somehow wound up in this position almost instantly. Forget-Me-Nots  

1/30/11

This was an unusually warm day, with highs in the mid-60s.  Dozens of adult Boxelder Bugs apparently overwintering inside the greenway sewer lines came out.  Small spiders were all out and about.

 
Boxelder Bug, beside trail Boxelder Bugs on top of manhole cover.  One seems to be going inside. View of the same Boxelder Bugs from above Probably Purple Deadnettle growing in crack of manhole cover  

 
Giant Wolf Spider Turtle Yellow-rumped Warbler  

 

10/7/10

 
Chinese Mantis Checkered skipper (dorsal view).  They can look golden in the right light. Checkered skipper (lateral view, ventral view of wings).  Gemmed Satyr  


Mating Pearl Crescents, which were doing a lot of flying Thread-waisted wasp (Eremnophila aureonotata).  A common wasp without a common name. Spider wasp (Auplopus mellipes mellipes) looking for nest entrance in sewer manhole. Spider wasp entering sewer manhole hole. Argiope aurantia (big photo is oriented correctly!)

3/30/10

 
Moss, with sporophytes.  Seen near the lake. Horsetail Winged Elm flowers and fruit Field Pansy (Viola bicolor) Green Six-spotted Tiger Beetle  


 
Common Vetch Common Wood-Sorrel Common Blue Violets Forget-me-nots (view from above)  

3/22/10

 
American Toads mating Periwinkle Mysterious tracks on the creek bed Horsetails  

3/19/10

 
Green Six-spotted Tiger Beetle, actually with 10 spots Prunus genus flowers.  Wolf spider Common Blue Violet  


     
Mating Boxelder Bugs, two of dozens, maybe hundreds, where the trail first came besides Sandy Creek. Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)      


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