This morning I went to check on the Raspberry Pi that has been taking photographs every ten minutes from safely beneath an overturned plastic bucket in the garlic patch. I've been putting on a light every night so the camera could continue taking useful pictures through the night, and that light always attracts a mad diversity of moths. The most spectacular moth attracted last night was a huge Luna Moth, which I grabbed a camera to photograph. The moth ended up staying pretty much in this same location for the rest of the day before disappearing once night fell.
Click to enlarge.
In the mid-morning I took the dogs on a long walk starting on the Farm Road, walking down to the southwest end of the Stick Trail, and then down the Canary Trail, which overlooks the cornfields of the Esopus Valley. Possibly due to the relative absence of limestone, I don't often see box turtles in these forests, but today the dogs found a pair of them (41.918182N, 74.102311W), perhaps about to mate or having just mated.
At least one of them had a lot of dirt on its face, so perhaps some egg burying had also happened. Happily, I didn't have to say much to convince the dogs to leave them alone so I could photograph them. (My old dog Fred from back in the 1990s was something of a turtle hound, and would throw turtles up into the air, though I don't think he ever actually hurt one.)
Click to enlarge.
Later in the walk
(41.923291N, 74.099693W), I saw something that I wouldn't believe had anyone told me they'd seen it. The dogs had separated from me and were off doing whatever they do (Chipmunk mining perhaps) and I was by myself. And then I saw it: a puppy dog about the size and color of Clarence the Cat ran purposefully across the trail about 50 feet in front of me and disappeared. It was clearly a dog and not a fox. It didn't have any black or white markings and its color was tawny, though not resembling a deer fawn. Also, its ear were somewhat floppy, as if it had some sort of hound dog ancestry. It was so clearly a dog that I wasn't worried about Ramona and Eleanor trying to kill it; I was more worried about it being lost and alone in these woods a mile from human civilization. So I called out to it, but it had vanished and had no interest in whatever I was offering. So what could it be? The fact that it was acting like a scared but methodical wild animal convinced me that it probably was, and not some lost puppy in the woods. Clearly it had been born out here and was living a completely wild existence. So why did it not look like a coyote? Perhaps it was a dog-coyote hybrid; such a canid could have a wide range of looks.
I was concerned that perhaps Ramona and Eleanor had frightened the pup away from its den and were maybe excavating it, so I circled back and forth through the woods to try to find them. I eventually found Eleanor and she hadn't been up to anything. Ramona appeared much later, though it was impossible to tell where she had been.
Now that the beans in the northeast corner of the garlic patch are too big to meaningfully photograph with my stop action Raspberry Pi, I trained it on the Luna Moth instead. Here's the completed clip showing two weeks of bean growth in about a minute, ultimately concluding with the flowering of nearby Day Lilies.