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)

 

2 September 2017

Stonewall Farm

Filed under: Early Fall,Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Summer — Tags: , — Frank @ 1:30 PM

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time at the Stonewall Farm an agricultural education center (among other things) in Keene, NH. I took a walk on their extensive trail network, but I found many things to photograph right near their buildings.

After leaving the farm, I meandered toward Brattleborough and discovered a new (to me) meetinghouse, the Park Hill Meetinghouse in Westmoreland, NH. I’ll certainly be heading back here in the light of November and hunting for the ‘perfect’ sky.

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Barn Board with Tassels
Barn Board with Tassels
String Beans
String Beans
Pumpkins
Pumpkins
Peppers
Peppers
Nelly
Nelly
Untitled
Untitled
Park Hill Meetinghouse (Westmoreland, NH)
Park Hill Meetinghouse (Westmoreland, NH)

 

28 August 2017

Another August Afternoon Amble

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 10:30 PM

This afternoon I made a left at the bottom of our driveway and headed down towards the bridge. My goal, however, was not the bridge. Rather, I was headed for the old log yard and the beaver pond on the road to Balancing Rock (on the land recently acquired by the Harris Center).

The old log yard which was bare just a few years ago is now full of wildflowers and berries. I was expecting to find meadowhawks here and was not disappointed. I observed more than a dozen; more males than females. There were also a few darners flying about and hunting overhead.

At the beaver pond, I found a single spreadwing and a single female bluet along the outlet stream. I sat at the edge of the pond near a log with an exuvia clinging to its underside and watched three male slaty skimmers having spectacular dog fights over the bit of pond shore I was watching. Every once in a while one would perch nearby for a very short interval before heading back into the battle for territory.

As I arose to leave I noticed some ode like movement out of the corner of my eye. My departure was delayed as I watched a lone female common pondhawk unsuccessfully hunting. After about five minutes she flew out of sight and I headed home.

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Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Spreadwing
Spreadwing
Exuvia
Exuvia
Slaty Skimmer (male)
Slaty Skimmer (male)
Common Pondhawk (female)
Common Pondhawk (female)

 

Hattie Brown Road

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

Yesterday afternoon, Joan and I walked up Hattie Brown Road to the beaver-made wetland. The weather was partly sunny and the temperature was in the low 70s F; there was a light intermittent breeze. Perfect weather for late August and for odes.

As I expected there were meadowhawks present along the road. We saw roughly a dozen individuals, both males and females in approximately equal numbers, perched from the ground to eye-level on the vegetation. We also saw a single meadowhawk mating wheel.

Additionally there were similar numbers (at least a dozen) of Canada darners present. Most were patrolling / hunting out over the water. However, we observed two ovipositing females and a couple of individuals (one with prey) perched in the roadside shrubbery.

Lastly, we observed three or four spreadwings perched low to the ground in the roadside vegetation.

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Meadowhawk (female or immature male)
Meadowhawk (female or immature male)
Canada Darner (male) with Prey
Canada Darner (male) with Prey
Canada Darner (male) with Prey
Canada Darner (male) with Prey
Canada Darner (male)
Canada Darner (male)
Meadowhawk (imm. male)
Meadowhawk (imm. male)
Canada Darner Ovipositing
Canada Darner Ovipositing
Swamp (?) Spreadwing (male)
Swamp (?) Spreadwing (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Canada Darner (female?)
Canada Darner (female?)

 

25 August 2017

American Rubyspots – 2017 Edition

Filed under: Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 10:03 AM

Two years ago (minus a few days) I drove roughly an hour and fifteen minutes to photograph American Rubyspots in Athol, Mass. Ever since then, I have been wanting to find Rubyspots in New Hampshire.

Last spring, I met Chris from Hollis, NH at a NH Coverts program. He told me of a spot in his home town where this species could be found and a few days ago he emailed to inform me that he had seen and photographed rubyspots there this past week.

Thus, yesterday afternoon I made the trip to the Beaver Brook Association‘s reservation in Hollis. It was only an hours drive and the site (where Brookline Road crosses the Nissitissit River) lies roughly a hundred yards north of the Mass. line.

As Chris promised, American Rubyspots were easy to find. I saw roughly a dozen individuals, mostly male but there were also one or two females present. I also saw a couple of male variable dancers and numerous meadowhawks (mostly male and probably Autumn Meadowhawks) along the edge of the parking area. Additionally, there was a single spreadwing mixed in with the rubyspots low along the river’s edge.

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American Rubyspot (male)
American Rubyspot  (male)
American Rubyspot (male)
American Rubyspot  (male)
American Rubyspot (male)
American Rubyspot  (male)
American Rubyspot (male)
American Rubyspot  (male)
American Rubyspot (female)
American Rubyspot (female)
Spreadwing
Spreadwing

 

24 August 2017

Good Odeing

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

Yesterday afternoon was sunny, warm (temperatures in the mid 70s F) and windy. Good weather for odeing… except for the wind.

I headed out and decided to stay away from the water where the wind would be strongest. I split my time between Elmwood Junction in Hancock (near where Moose Brook flows into Powdermill Pond) and the field at the boat launch on the Contoocook River in Greenfield (near the covered bridge).

The numbers of individuals was fairly small but the variety of species I observed was amazing. I photographed nine species between the two sites.

At Elmwood Junction, I photographed a single male slender spreadwing, a small number of male variable dancers and meadowhawks (probably autumn meadowhawks) of both sexes. The damselflies were located down near the water, in a spot protected from the wind. The meadowhawks were in sunny spots along the road. (The first five photos below are from Elmwood Junction.)

At the field by the boat launch, I observed (and photographed) a couple of male Eastern Forktails, one (and maybe two) male Eastern Amberwings, a small number (maybe half a dozen) male Calico Pennants, a single female Widow Skimmer (which allowed me exactly one exposure before it flew off to part unknown), a number of meadowhawks (mostly male but a few females) and a single male Slaty Skimmer.

I also photographed (see the last photo) a female Common Pondhawk. I saw this elusive “gal” on three separate occasions over about a fifteen minute period, but was able to make only two exposures on the last time I saw it.

I saw no odes down by the river at the boat launch, but it was quite windy so this is not unexpected.

At both sites, meadowhawks (most probably Autumn Meadowhawks) were, by far, the most common species I observed and males outnumbered females by about three to one.

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Slender Spreadwing (male) ?
Slender Spreadwing (male) ?
Variable Dancer (male) with Prey
Variable Dancer (male) with Prey
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
Meadowhawk (male)
White-faced Meadowhawk (female) ?
White-faced Meadowhawk (female) ?
Eastern Forktail (male)
Eastern Forktail (male)
Eastern Amberwing (male)
Eastern Amberwing (male)
Eastern Amberwing (male)
Eastern Amberwing (male)
Calico Pennant (male)
Calico Pennant (male)
Widow Skimmer (female)
Widow Skimmer (female)
Meadowhawk (female)
Meadowhawk (female)
Slaty Skimmer(male)
Slaty Skimmer(male)
Slaty Skimmer(male)
Slaty Skimmer(male)
ID Needed
ID Needed

 

19 August 2017

In the Neighborhood of the VCP

Filed under: Landscapes,Summer,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Frank @ 12:35 PM

Thursday evening I found myself in Brattleboro with some time on my hands.

The only camera I had with me was my digitally “enhanced” camera obscura. Thus, this is what I used to make photographs; all were made within a couple of  hundred feet of the Vermont Center for Photography’s front door. (The last two photos were conceived as a diptych.)

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Vermont Center for Photography #1
Vermont Center for Photography #1
Vermont Center for Photography #2
Vermont Center for Photography #2
In-Sight, Our Neighbor
In-Sight, Our Neighbor
Brattleboro (VT) Skyline
Brattleboro (VT) Skyline
Both Sides #1
Both Sides #1
Both Sides #2
Both Sides #2

 

Found ‘Film’

Filed under: Landscapes,Summer — Tags: — Frank @ 12:30 PM

Remember the days of yore film?

Every once in awhile you would develop a roll of film and find exposures that you had forgotten that you had made!

In these days of instant gratification digital photography, this doesn’t happen nearly as often, but I had this “forgotten film” experience recently.

The photos below were made (using my camera obscura system) on 23 May, the day before my cardiac ‘event’. They lay forgotten until this morning.

I used the camera obscura to make some photos on Thursday evening. When I went to download those photos this morning, I discovered about two dozen frames that I exposed back in May.

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Church, Bradford Center
Church, Bradford Center
Memorial Day #1, Bradford Center
Memorial Day #1, Bradford Center
Memorial Day #2, Bradford Center
Memorial Day #2, Bradford Center
Memorial Day #3, Bradford Center
Memorial Day #3, Bradford Center
School House, South Sutton, NH
School House, South Sutton, NH

 

16 August 2017

On the Road… Again*

Filed under: Early Fall,Monadnock Region,Summer — Frank @ 5:30 PM

Yesterday afternoon I turned right at the bottom of our driveway and headed down the unmaintained section of “our” road.

As I walked, I noticed small patches of color on the road. I began to photograph them.

As I made photographs, I began to think…

Journeys can be measured by distance or by time.

While I walked roughly two miles on my afternoon journey, the small patches of color on the road reminded me that autumn is almost upon us, yet again, and that the annual cycle by which we measure our lives marches on relentlessly.

This neither good nor bad… it just is.

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* Literally and with a modicum of  apologies to Messrs. Kerouac and… Nelson.


 

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