This was impossible to resist today, especially when it posed so nicely on our bright purple patio table. This is a Horse Fly, Genus Tabanus and I believe the species is lineola, although I'm not 100% certain. Definitely a male - you can see how its eyes are connected in the center which is a tried and true way to sex a fly (females eyes are separated slightly).
Tom the Wild Turkey has been around most of the day, drinking water, foraging in the clover patches and under the cherry tree. I love having him come around. A surprising arrival on the patio today was a big Black Vulture. He arrived in a kerfluffle of wings and then looked around as if to say "where the hell am I" before flying up to land our deck canopy and eventually the roof of the house. Strange but also fun.
I am definitely not seeing as many butterflies as usual this summer and I'm not really sure why. I'll have to ask one of my butterflier friends to get his take on it. No signs of monarch activity in the garden and the Common Milkweed is definitely getting past its prime. I need to cut most of it back to force new growth.
I am looking forward to looking at all the TinyTuesday entries this afternoon and tomorrow - hearts and HM's will be announced on Thursday!
New Jersey's Covid RT just ticked up above 1.1 so the state government is on high alert and prepared to enact measures if this number continues to rise. The Rate of Transmission is a number to be watched very closely. Our governor has already halted some of the reopening and is now talking about mandating masks on beaches and other outdoor places where social distancing isn't possible. While the death rates in the US are not what they were in the early days, the RT is way too high. I fear that we won't get this under control for a very long time. And just because the average age of those being infected now is much lower does not mean that there won't be deaths and potential long-term after affects. People need to be smarter.
So my message stays the same - stay safe...be kind...be loving.