nighthawks

©Steve Kolbe. Used with permission

August, announced Larry Weber this morning, is one of his 12 favorite months.

He talked migration at Hawk Ridge, where the counters are hard at work, the fabulousness of spiders, how a mayfly hatch is a good indicator of clean water, and how come he's the guy driving so slowly and gawking at the goldenrod by the side of the road.

Kevin Bolton [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes that, as the days grow shorter (now just 14 hours of daylight), many birds are on the move, including large families of warblers ("warbler waves"), raptors, geese, and nighthawks. The rain has brought out many mushrooms. Butterflies are on the scene, and so are cicadas, katydids and grasshoppers, and this means that spiders are on the hunt for insects! In plant life, fall flowers are blooming -- goldenrod, asters, and sunflowers (including Joe-Pye weed).

Gavin Schaefer/Flickr

Laura Erickson says no one who knows anything about real nighthawks would ever consider naming their sports team after them ... but Larry Weber has enjoyed watching their migration this week, anyway.

Plus he's been watching hawks migrate at Hawk Ridge,  thrilled to the hundreds of spider webs that showed up so clearly with foggy dewdrops on them and, of course, spent time appreciating "the fungus among us" after the rains.