No dancing bear, a real one at a Dead tribute show 


My friend Steve and I were headed to the Forever Grateful show in Danbury, Connecticut, on Saturday.

We hadn’t seen each other in a while so we caught up at my place and hung out for a while. Then we stopped at a bar for a quick drink before heading to the festival at the west campus of Western Connecticut State University. Parking, of course, was a minor issue at the venue as we drove around the lot looking for a space. Eventually we turned around and headed back out of the venue to grab the nearest on-road parking spot, leaving a sizable walk for us to get to the show.

The reason I got into so much detail is because the timing of this had to be just perfect. If we hadn’t stopped at the bar, or if we had found parking immediately, we would have missed it.

As we headed to the security area, and there were, I’m guessing, Continue reading

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Cicada emerges from exoskeleton

Photo by Chris Bosak A cicada emerges from its nymph exoskeleton on a tree in Danbury, Conn., summer 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A cicada emerges from its nymph exoskeleton on a tree in Danbury, Conn., summer 2017.

This one was all Will.

I was throwing the football around with Will, my 10-year-old, when he suddenly stopped by a tree and said: “Dad, come check this out.” He had found a cicada emerging from its¬†nymph exoskeleton. In all my years, I’ve never seen this before. I’ve seen dozens of exoskeletons lying round but long after the cicada had emerged and started making its trademark noises from the trees.

This was also like no other cicada I had ever seen before. To be clear, I’m no expert on cicadas. Far from it. But I’ve seen plenty of them over the years. This one had green wings, really cool aqua-green wings. And green legs to boot. Perhaps they will change to clear wings after it is in the world a little longer, but at that moment anyway, it had green wings.

Will took a bunch of photos with my phone while I rushed for my camera and macro lens. His photos came out pretty well, too. I’ll include one at the bottom.

Nature has surprises around every corner. Sometimes it takes a 10-year-old to find them.

Photo by Chris Bosak A cicada emerges from its nymph exoskeleton on a tree in Danbury, Conn., summer 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A cicada emerges from its nymph exoskeleton on a tree in Danbury, Conn., summer 2017.

Here’s Will’s iPhone shot. Not bad.

Photo by Will Bosak A cicada emerges from its nymph exoskeleton on a tree in Danbury, Conn., summer 2017.

Photo by Will Bosak
A cicada emerges from its nymph exoskeleton on a tree in Danbury, Conn., summer 2017.

Bonus Song Sparrow photos

Photo by Chris Bosak A song sparrow perches on a branch at Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT, spring 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A song sparrow perches on a branch at Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT, spring 2017.

As you might suspect from my last post, I have plenty of song sparrow photos. Here are a couple bonus ones: a new one on the top and one I took several years ago below.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Song Sparrow seen in Selleck’s/Dunlap Woods in Darien, Conn., March 2014.

A few more hints to the birding quiz

Photo by Chris Bosak

Here are a few more hints for the birding quiz I posted yesterday. I received some great guesses yesterday and some were very close and on the right track (think immature bird). See there’s one hint already.

Another hint: I recently took a quick camping trip to Pittsburg, N.H., up at the northern tip of the state, a few miles from Canada. That’s where I saw the bird.

Also, remember the size of the bird — about the size of a robin, it not a bit bigger. (The adults are indeed bigger than robins, but not greatly so.)

Thanks again for playing along. Answer coming later today.

Bobolinks — again at last

Photo by Chris Bosak A male bobolink perches in a small tree and overlooks the fields at Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A male bobolink perches in a small tree and overlooks the fields at Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken some decent Bobolink photos. That is partly because Bobolinks, like many birds and especially birds that need large fields or meadows to nest, are in decline. It’s also because I hadn’t visited any of those habitats recently.

But Happy Landings in Brookfield, thankfully. offers acres of field habitat and Bobolinks and other birds love it. So does this birdwatcher.

More on Bobolinks coming up.

Cedar waxwing on the hunt

Photo by Chris Bosak  A cedar waxwing eats an insect on a branch in Brookfield, Conn., spring 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A cedar waxwing eats an insect on a branch in Brookfield, Conn., spring 2017.

Most photos of cedar waxwings eating are of the handsome birds chowing down on berries of some sort or another. I got this guy (or girl) eating a white insect. As long as they are eating, it’s all good, I guess.

Not bad for an iPhone photo


I walked out the front door and this black swallowtail was nice enough to land on the rhododendron right in front of me. The rhododendron, by the way, is awesome in bloom for about three weeks each late spring. Only better when a nice butterfly stops to check it out. I didn’t have my “real” camera with me so I did the best I could with my iPhone.

Stunned eastern wood-pewee survives


I found this guy on my porch as I was walking into the house this afternoon. He must have bumped into the bedroom window, and became stunned. I was happy to see that its neck looked OK. A broken neck from a window strike is fatal to birds.

Often, they are only stunned and need to collect their wits before they fly off and return to their day. I picked up the bird to keep it warm and calm. I was going to put it in a box and place it away from lurking predators. However, after a few seconds, I felt the bird try to flap its wings in my hand. I loosen my grip and the bird flew to a nearby branch. It immediately let out its trademark song, a high-pitched “pee-wee.”

It was an eastern wood-pewee and we will hear that song in the woods all summer.