Crow’s Nest: The Extraordinary Ordinary

July 15, 2014

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager


In the everyday, is the extraordinary. Above, broadleaf or bitter dock (Rumex obtusifolius), a common weed of croplands and disturbed field edges, is nonetheless beautiful. It was introduced from Europe.


Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) have nested in our cattle shed, just at head level as I am mucking out the bedding. Each juvenile appears to have its own personality in this photograph. (Can you see the fourth?) Again, common, yet extraordinary.

Finally, one that is either common or perhaps less so… I am not the one to say. This is either a banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) or perhaps a hickory hairstreak (Satyrium caryaevorum). It’s tiny, about the size of my pinky fingernail, and is perched here on the diamondplate tailgate of the truck. By the way if you Google “banded hairstreak vs. hickory hairstreak Pennsylvania” one of the hits is this Natural Lands Trust weblog, an entry by Tim Burris on  June 17, 2011. Tim discusses the slight differences in their identification and if he is left in doubt then so am I. Nonetheless a spectacular sight.