Eastern prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa) is a surprising sight for most people who don't expect to see a cactus in New England. This plant seemed abundant on this Cape Cod visit, but is state listed as Endangered.
Considering the long dry period we've been experiencing this summer, the last thing I expected to see was mushrooms. Instead I was greeted with these fresh but very sturdy polypores--in fact a species I had never seen before, Cryptoporus volvatus, produced by a fungus that feeds on dead conifer wood.
I don't have an identification for this dragonfly, but I could tell she was female, because she kept dipping the end of her abdomen into the water--a sign that she was releasing eggs.
And on a little black cherry tree, these fingerlike projections are galls that protect minuscule Eriophyes mites.