Photographs by Frank

20 June 2018

Hattie Brown Road

Yesterday afternoon I took a walk up Hattie Brown Road. This old (and now gated) road leads to an old homestead but is used mainly for logging access these days. On its way up to the old foundation (which is roughly a mile from Craig Road) , the road passes a beaver pond and a fairly new (i.e. still grassy, not brushy) log yard. Both are good spots for odes.

The weather was ideal; the temperature was in the low 70s F, the skies were azure blue and there was a bit of a gusty breeze blowing.

At every sunny spot on the road there were chalk-fronted corporals, often a dozen or more in one patch of sunlight. I saw literately hundreds of individuals, in total.

In addition to the corporals, I saw a half dozen Hudsonian whitefaces, mostly maturing (i.e. turning from yellow to red) males, two or three teneral frosted whitefaces (along the edge of the beaver pond), a single four-spotted skimmer (in the woods near the old foundation) and a single spreadwing (in the beaver pond).

I also saw a single darner of some sort. It perched briefly on a stem of grass along the road by the beaver pond. However, the weight of the insect, its sail-like wings and the wind conspired against me making its photo. It was swaying back and forth so vigorously that I could not keep the critter in the viewfinder, much less focus on it!

It was also a good day for seeing non-ode animals. I saw a both tiger swallowtails and pipevine swallowtails; a few of each type. I also found a small (first joint of your thumb-sized) toad at the edge of the road in the woods and a painted turtle (a female wanting to lay eggs?) in the middle of the road a few dozen yards up hill from, and pointed away from, the beaver pond.

I also saw an indigo bunting at the edge of the log yard. It hung around long enough so that I could remove the extension tube from between camera and lens. Although with only 300 mm of magnification available, the resulting photos are merely record shots.

Lastly, I observed a young deer in a small sunny patch on a skid road leading off of the main road. If was maybe fifty feet from me, but it did not hang around long enough for me to even contemplate removing the extension tube this time.

All-in-all are very good few hours of wildlife observation!

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Chalk-fronted Corporal
Chalk-fronted Corporal
Hudsoniam Whiteface (maturing male)
Hudsoniam Whiteface (maturing male)
Very worn Swallowtail
Very worn Swallowtail
Toad
Toad
Frosted Whiteface (teneral)
Frosted Whiteface (teneral)
Painted Turtle
Painted Turtle
Four-spotted Skimmer
Four-spotted Skimmer
Spreadwing
Spreadwing

 

18 June 2018

First Time “Down Back” This Season

Sunday afternoon I donned my waders and headed down to the beaver-made pond and wet meadow at the back of our property. I spent three hours (from about 3 PM to 6 PM) there photographing odes. The temperature was in the mid 80’s F, it was mostly sunny and calm.

The most abundant odes, by far, were frosted whitefaces of both sexes; there were dozens of individuals present. They were flying over both the open water of the pond and over the meadow, I also observed two mating wheels of this species.

There were also small numbers of hudsonian whitefaces (males only) and four-spotted skimmers. I watched (and photographed) a skimmer make a dozen or more hunting forays over about 10 minutes. It always returned to the same perch between flights and it was quite successful, catching prey about two-thirds of the time.

The most abundant damselfly was the sedge sprite (mostly males). I observed roughly a dozen individuals, a few down low in the wet meadow, but most in the tall grass where the meadow meets the woods. I also saw a couple of bluets (at different times and locations); one male and one female.

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Frosted Whiteface Entangled in Spider Web
Frosted Whiteface Entangled in Spider Web
Frosted Whiteface
Frosted Whiteface
Four-spotted Skimmer with Prey
Four-spotted Skimmer with Prey
Frosted Whiteface Mating Wheel
Frosted Whiteface Mating Wheel
Sedge Sprite (male)
Sedge Sprite (male)
Hudsonian Whileface (male)
Hudsonian Whileface (male)

 

15 June 2018

Yesterday’s Photos

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,wildflowers — Tags: , — Frank @ 11:00 AM

Yesterday morning I headed out to run some errands — I needed a birthday present for the boss — of course, I took my camera.

On my way home I stopped to look for odes at the boat launch on the Contoocook in Greenfield. The weather was cool and blustery and the odes were few. I did make an interesting photo of a small moth trying to stay out of the wind.

I also took a walk up the rail bed from Elmwood Junction to the bridge across Powdermill Pond. Here there were small numbers of odes about, mainly chalk-fronted corporals. The find of the day was a teneral female black-shouldered spinylegs drying out on a fern about five or six feet from the water.

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Chevy Truck
Chevy Truck
Truck Detail #1
Truck Detail #1
Truck Detail #2
Truck Detail #2
Moth
Moth
Wildflower
Wildflower
Aurora Damsel (male)
Aurora Damsel (male)
Black-shouldered Spinylegs (female)
Black-shouldered Spinylegs (female)
The Nose Knows?!
The Nose Knows?!
Rosebud
Rosebud

 

12 June 2018

Lady Slippers

Filed under: Audubon Sanctuaries,Monadnock Region,Spring,wildflowers — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Mid-June is peak season for lady slippers here in the Monadnock region.  These showy flowers are fairly rare and, at most sites where they grow, the number of individual plants is, in my experience, small. However, along the Mill Pond trail at New Hampshire Audubon’s Willard Pond Sanctuary there is a “grove” consisting of dozens of these plants in a relatively small area. Yesterday afternoon, I payed a visit to this wonderful spot to make a few photographs.

These flowers are growing under a relatively heavy canopy which creates dappled sunlight. I spent some time crawling around on my hands an knees looking for the right combination of light on a flower and relatively dark background. (All of these photos are in natural light.)

At one point during my crawl, I noticed how many of the leaves around are coated in pine pollen; as is my truck. (Mid-June is flowering time for our pine trees as well.) I took a short break from the flowers at one point when I noticed “nice light” on a pollen covered basswood leaf.

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Lady Slipper #1
Lady Slipper #1
Lady Slipper #2
Lady Slipper #2
Lady Slipper #3
Lady Slipper #3
Lady Slipper #4
Lady Slipper #4
Lady Slipper #5
Lady Slipper #5
Basswood Leaf with Pine Pollen
Basswood Leaf with Pine Pollen

 

10 June 2018

Four Species in Twelve Feet

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Spring,wildflowers — Tags: , — Frank @ 7:00 PM

During my walk this morning, I stopped at a sunny spot along a forest road to see what odes were present. Sunny spots in a wooded landscape are “hot spots” that concentrate odes.

The road is roughly eight feet wide and the sunny spot was roughly twelve feet long.

I was able to photograph four species of dragonflies in the small area: hudsonian whiteface, chalk-fronted corporal, racket-tailed emerald and one that I have not identified yet*. There were small numbers (3-6) individuals of the first two species and single individuals of the last two species in this small patch of sunlight.

As it was yesterday, chalk-fronted corporals were abundant along the road with small numbers of hudsonian whitefaces also present.

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Hudsonian Whiteface
Hudsonian Whiteface
Racket-tailed Emerald
Racket-tailed Emerald
Hudsomian Whiteface (maturing male)
Hudsomian Whiteface (maturing male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male) #1
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male) #1
Immature Male Frosted Whiteface #1
Immature Male Frosted Whiteface #1
Immature Male Frosted Whiteface #2
Immature Male Frosted Whiteface #2
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male) #2
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male) #2
Clover
Clover

* An immature male frosted whiteface. Thanks to Nick et al. from the NEOdes mailing list for the ID.


 

8 June 2018

Small Critters

This morning, after an absence of almost two weeks*, I took a walk up the unmaintained section of Brimstone Corner Road just to see what was around.

Ode-wise, the most common species were still the “early birds”… Hudsonian whitefaces (yellow individuals only) and chalk-fronted corporals (of both sexes). The numbers were small about six whitefaces and a dozen corporals in the three miles I walked.

I also observed a single brown-grey damselfly (probably a female bluet of some sort) and a female racket-tailed emerald.

There were a number of other small critters about. That is, besides the black flies and the mosquitoes (although neither of these were present in numbers large enough to be bothersome). I saw two red efts and a small (about the length of the first joint of my thumb) wood frog. Small numbers of at least three species of butterflies and one moth were also out and about.

Plant-wise, the spring ephemerals (trillium, etc.) are gone but a number of small summer flowers are in bloom or just about to open up.

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Hudsonian Whiteface
Hudsonian Whiteface
Red Eft
Red Eft
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male)
Wood Frog
Wood Frog
Chalk-fronted Corporal #2
Chalk-fronted Corporal #2
Chalk-fronted Corporal #3
Chalk-fronted Corporal #3
Butterfly #1
Butterfly #1
Wildflower
Wildflower
Moth
Moth
Butterfly #2
Butterfly #2
Racket-tailed Emerald
Racket-tailed Emerald

* I spent ten days in Maryland visiting my mother who is in a rehab facility after breaking both a wrist and a hip.


 

24 May 2018

Eight Years and Counting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 10:00 PM

No new photos for today, but I cannot let the day pass without comment.

I made my first-ever post here, eight years ago today… here it is, so you don’t have to search for it!

Four hundred seventy four posts later, I am still at it. Who woulda thunk?

As the last photo in my most recent post says… Life is Good.

22 May 2018

Rainy Day Colors

Filed under: architecture,Garden Flowers,Monadnock Region,Spring — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

After finishing my errands this morning, I took a stroll (with camera in hand) around downtown Peterborough in a light rain.

The light was dull and flat, it was not a day for black and white photos, but the rain did make the colors really pop!

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Blue Spokes
Blue Spokes
Once Blue
Once Blue
Spring Flower #1
Spring Flower #1
Spring Flower #2
Spring Flower #2
Colorful Detail #1
Colorful Detail #1
Colorful Detail #2
Colorful Detail #2
Colorful Detail #3`
Colorful Detail #3`
Colorful Detail #4
Colorful Detail #4
Fixed!
Fixed!
Traffic Cone
Traffic Cone
Flammable Gas
Flammable Gas
Life Is Good, Etc.
Life Is Good, Etc.

 

19 May 2018

Ode Season Progression

The ode season progresses.

The hudsonian whitefaces are maturing. Both males and females emerge with yellow and black markings. As the males mature the yellow spots turn red. Yesterday, about one in ten of the hudsonian whitefaces I saw were red or reddish.

Hudsonian whitefaces were still, by far, the most common ode around. However, small numbers of chalk-fronted corporals and brownish-grey damselflies (most probably a bluet of some sort) have appeared in the past few days.

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Hudsonian Whiteface (male)
Hudsonian Whiteface (male)
Bluet (female)
Bluet (female)
Female Bluet with Prey
Female Bluet with Prey
Chalk-fronted Corporal
Chalk-fronted Corporal

While prowling the “neighborhood” with a camera set up to make close up photos of smallish insects, I often find other things to point my lens at… other insects (especially butterflies) and flowers (of both wild and garden ilk) are most common.

Yesterday, while I was kneeling near a stone wall stalking a chalk-fronted corporal, a chipmunk poked its head out from between two stones. He was a very curious “fellow”*. Every time I moved he would duck back into the crevice, but after a few seconds he would reappear. I was close enough to photograph him without taking the extension tube from between my camera and lens.

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Wild Strawberry Flowers
Wild Strawberry Flowers
Butterfly
Butterfly
Tulip with Visitor
Tulip with Visitor
Fancy Daffodils #1
Fancy Daffodils #1
Fancy Daffodils #2
Fancy Daffodils #2
Tulip
Tulip
Curious Chipmunk
Curious Chipmunk

* I say “fellow”, but I did not see enough of this individual to actually determine its sex.

13 May 2018

Ode Opener 2018

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Spring — Tags: — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Over the past few days, I have been watching the appearance of increasing numbers of Hudsonian whitefaces in the yard and on the road. There were a scattered few last Monday. Today, there were dozens. (Today, I also observed, but did not identify or photograph, a single damselfly.)

Hooray… Ode season is upon us!!!

This afternoon, I dusted off the ode rig and spent a bit of time brushing up on my ode photography skills. Those skills were rusty, but the kinks worked themselves out quickly.

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Hudsonian Whiteface #1
Hudsonian Whiteface #1
Hudsonian Whiteface #2
Hudsonian Whiteface #2
Hudsonian Whiteface #3
Hudsonian Whiteface #3
Hudsonian Whiteface #4
Hudsonian Whiteface #4
Hudsonian Whiteface #5
Hudsonian Whiteface #5
Hudsonian Whiteface #6
Hudsonian Whiteface #6
Hudsonian Whiteface #7
Hudsonian Whiteface #7
Hudsonian Whiteface #8
Hudsonian Whiteface #8
Hudsonian Whiteface #9
Hudsonian Whiteface #9

 

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