I saw this spider on one of our shrubs in the flower garden. I’ve never seen one like this before and wondered if you had? Wayne Stovell, Cavan

Note: The spider in question is a Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia). It’s a fairly common spider of late summer. It makes a beautiful circular web which measures up to two feet in diameter. D.M.

Yellow Garden Spider (Wayne Stovell)

On August 8 an Ovenbird flew into one of our windows.  We immediately put it into a box lined with soft cloths and closed the box, in hopes it would recover.  However, there did appear to be a problem with one wing.  After at least two hours it finally perked up so we uncovered the box.  When we checked a while later the box was empty.  This was the first time we had seen this bird. On August 21 a Double-crested Cormorant alighted on a large rock in the river after a heavy shower and proceeded to flap its wings vigorously for about 10 minutes before it flew off.  The bird had a pale neck and breast which identified it as a juvenile.  This was also the first time we have seen this bird here on the Indian River. Stephenie Armstrong, Warsaw

Its been exactly 160 years since the first Auburn Dam was built. The present dam is a product of the “Depression Era Make Work Project”. The previous dam was, by all accounts, in good shape.
Odd why it was replaced. With the new dam and a seawall of several hundred feet, Snapping Turtles are forced to portage a considerable distance to get over the dam going north or south.
Often they are seen on the west side of our condo, but today, August 18, it’s the third time one has come up the east side. By the size of its shell/carapace, I would suspect it was 3 to 5-years old.
So, I ever so carefully picked it up and put into a small basket and took it the 200-whatever feet from the patio up to the one of two ponds north of the condo. Our neighbor and friend came along thankfully, as I worried about slipping into the pond. I then carefully tipped the basket into the pond water, and it took off faster than a NASA rocket northbound as soon as its nose sensed the pond water.
I do hope it kept swimming north and did not turn as it would get swept over the dam.
Hmmmmmm. Gord Young, Armour Road

Rescued Snapping Turtle – Gord Young

On August 4, there was a Red-headed Woodpecker on a hydro pole in front of the community centre here at Curve Lake First Nation. David Beaucage Johnson, Curve Lake

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker (Dennis Johnson)

On August 5, this Northern Bush-katydid appeared just outside our front door at the cottage on Lake Catchecoma. Peter Currier

Northern Bush-katydid (Peter Currier)

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.