Photographs by Frank

6 October 2017

2017 Road Trip — Cranes

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — Frank @ 9:45 PM

On our way home we spent time at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin; rather than repeat what is already written, you can read about the history of the ICF by  clicking here.

In addition to their ‘signature’ whooping cranes, the ICF displays all of the fifteen species of cranes found world-wide. I did not photograph all fifteen, but did get a nice selection of photos of these captive animals without too much man-made stuff interfering.

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Whattled Crane (captive animal)
Whattled Crane   (captive animal)
Brogla (captive animal)
Brogla  (captive animal)
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Crane Feathers (detail)
Crane Feathers (detail)
Black-necked Crane (captive animal)
Black-necked Crane   (captive animal)
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Black Crowned Crane #1 (captive animal)
Black Crowned Crane #1  (captive animal)
Black Crowned Crane #2 (captive animal)
Black Crowned Crane #2  (captive animal)
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Whooping Crane #1 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #1 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #2 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #2 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #3 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #3 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #4 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #4 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #5 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #5 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #6 (captive animal)
Whooping Crane #6 (captive animal)

1 October 2017

2017 Road Trip — Wildlife

Filed under: Autumn,Birds,Mammals,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 10:30 PM

On Labor Day (4 Sept) we headed out on the road. Our immediate destination was western Montana and a nephews wedding on the 9th.

After the wedding festivities were over, we began the meat of the trip. Our first destination was Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), just to the west of Yellowstone National Park, our second destination. We spent five nights in Yellowstone and then wildlife refuge hopped back east.

We visited C.M Russell NWR, Bowdoin NWR, and Medicine Lake NWR all in Montana, Lostwood NWR, Des Lacs NWR and Upper Souris NWR in North Dakota and Agassiz NWR in Minnesota. We also visited the International Crane Foundation and the Aldo Leopold Foundation in  Baraboo, Wisconsin before heading home.

We arrived home yesterday (Saturday, 30 Sept) having driven just over 7,400 miles in total.

Of course, I made one or two photographs along the way! Here is the first installment… wildlife photographs.

More to follow over the next few days.

Birds

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White-crowned Sparrow, Male (Red Rock Lakes NWR)
White-crowned Sparrow, Male (Red Rock Lakes NWR)
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White-crowned Sparrows, Pair (Red Rock Lakes NWR)
White-crowned Sparrows, Pair (Red Rock Lakes NWR)
Mountain Bluebird ((Yellowstone NP))
Mountain Bluebird ((Yellowstone NP))
Mountain Bluebird #2 (Yellowstone NP)
Mountain Bluebird #2 (Yellowstone NP)
Greater Yellow Legs (Bowdoin NWR)
Greater Yellow Legs (Bowdoin NWR)
Plover (Bowdoin NWR)
Plover (Bowdoin NWR)
Killdeer (Bowdoin NWR)
Killdeer (Bowdoin NWR)
American Avocet #1 (Bowdoin NWR)
American Avocet #1 (Bowdoin NWR)
American Avocet #2 (Bowdoin NWR)
American Avocet #2 (Bowdoin NWR)
While Pelicans
While Pelicans
Perigrine Falcon
Perigrine Falcon
White Pelican Taking Flight
White Pelican Taking Flight

Mammals

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Pronghorn Antelope (Red Rock Lake NWR)
Pronghorn Antelope (Red Rock Lake NWR)
Bison Herd (Yellowstone NP)
Bison Herd (Yellowstone NP)
Bison Rut ((Yellowstone NP))
Bison Rut ((Yellowstone NP))
Grazing Bison #1 (Yellowstone NP)
Grazing Bison #1 (Yellowstone NP)
Grazing Bison #2 (Yellowstone NP)
Grazing Bison #2 (Yellowstone NP)
Grazing Bison #3 (Yellowstone NP)
Grazing Bison #3 (Yellowstone NP)
Bison (Yellowstone NP)
Bison (Yellowstone NP)
Rutting Bison #2 (Yellowstone NP)
Rutting Bison #2 (Yellowstone NP)
Rutting Bison #3 (Yellowstone NP)
Rutting Bison #3 (Yellowstone NP)
Elk Doe (Yellowstone NP)
Elk Doe (Yellowstone NP)
Elk Doe #2(Yellowstone NP)
Elk Doe #2(Yellowstone NP)
Bugeling Elk Bull (Yellowstone NP)
Bugeling Elk Bull (Yellowstone NP)
Elk Bull (Yellowstone NP)
Elk Bull (Yellowstone NP)
Elk Bull #1 (CM Russell NWR)
Elk Bull #1 (CM Russell NWR)
Elk Bull #2 (CM Russell NWR)
Elk Bull #2 (CM Russell NWR)
Party Animal Elk (CM Russell NWR)
Party Animal Elk (CM Russell NWR)
Bugeling Elk Bull with Harem (CM Russell NWR)
Bugeling Elk Bull with Harem (CM Russell NWR)

 

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

 

13 August 2017

A Walk at Loveren’s Mill

Yesterday afternoon, Joan and I took a walk at the Nature Conservancy’s Loveren’s Mill property. This site, which lies along the North Branch river and is partly in Antrim, contains a rare white cedar swamp. I brought along the “ode rig” and thus concentrated on photographing small things close up.

There were a smallish number but a good variety of odes present… ebony jewelwings along the fast moving parts of the river and meadow hawks and some unidentified (and unphotographed) damselflies along the woods roads. Oddly, we saw no odes along the boardwalk in the swamp proper.

The most common, by far, insect present was a small (about an inch across), drab tan moth. There were spots along the road where each foot step stirred up a dozen or so individuals.

Botanically, there was an interesting mix of early season spring ephemerals (e.g. painted trillium, clintonia and bunchberry) in fruit and late season wildflowers (e.g. joe pye weed, asters and goldenrod) in bloom. Additionally, the damp summer has been very good for the fungi and I photographed a number of different mushrooms.

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Sorry for the lack of captions/titles.  The last upgrade to the blog software seems to have introduced a small incompatibility with the gallery software. I thought I had figured out a work around for the previous post, but now I can not remember what I did the other day!


 

11 August 2017

Zealand Falls Odes

Filed under: Odontates,Summer,the White Mountains,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Yesterday, Joan, her cousin Suzy and I took a trip to the Zealand Falls area in the White Mountains.

Joan and Suzy headed for the top of Zealand Falls and the AMC hut. I headed up the same trail at a much slower pace. My goal was the downstream end of the extensive beaver-made wetlands complex (which is downstream from Zealand Pond). It is always a nice hike and I was in search of odes.

On the way up, I observed a number of darners at a couple of points along the river and along a creek feeding into the river. No photos though, as these were typical darners which are constantly on the move.

Within a couple of minutes of arriving at the first beaver pond I saw two dragonflies… a blue corporal (I think) and another dragonfly with green eyes. Neither hung around long enough for a good look much less a photograph.  Without success, I waited for some time hoping that they would return. Eventually I moseyed on up the trail. I saw no odes for the next fifteen or so minutes and decided to turn around.

On the way back across the boardwalk I finally espied another dragonfly with bright green eyes; an emerald of some sort. It perched briefly and I was able to make two exposures of it before it took off again… the first photo, below, is one of them.

One the way down, I stopped at the first beaver pond again, hoping that I might re-spot one of the two individuals I saw there originally. I was rewarded with a second sighting of the green-eyed delta-spotted spiketail. It briefly perched near me; almost too close for me to photograph.  I was able to lean back enough to get it in focus and was, again, able to make only two exposures before it flew off.

I made it back to the car about five minutes before Joan and Suzy. We hightailed it home so that Joan could make her evening Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

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Emerald (?)
Emerald (?)
Delta-spotted Spiketail (male)
Delta-spotted Spiketail (male)

 

30 July 2017

Calico Pennants

Filed under: Odontates,Summer,The Yard — Tags: — Frank @ 12:05 PM

Yesterday, for the first time this season, I took the “ode rig” along with me on my daily walk.*

I was rewarded with some nice photos of calico pennants (see below). The individual in the first photo is a male and the other two individuals are females; the one in the third photo is carrying a number of mites both on its abdomen and it thorax.**

In addition to the half dozen (four male and two female) calico pennants I observed, I also saw a single male meadowhawk and a number of female spreadwings.

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* There was a light overcast and the temperature was about 70 deg. F. I was out from about 1 to 3 PM.

** Something has happened to my ability to caption individual photos in the gallery. Thus, these descriptions will have to suffice.


 

Vandal!

Filed under: Mammals,Summer,The Yard,Wildlife — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Thursday afternoon, shortly after lunch, I was wandering by the doors that open onto our deck. As is my habit, I looked out to see what birds were present at our feeders. To my great surprise, not only were there no birds present, but there were no feeders in view!

I headed out the doors to investigate. I found empty feeders strewn about and the steel pole upon which the feeders were once mounted bent over at a right angle at ground level.

I knew at once that we had been visited by a bear… in broad daylight no less!

This conclusion was confirmed, maybe an hour later, when Joan summoned me to the deck doors. The vandal had returned! She/he was looking to see if they had missed any seeds during their first visit. I took two quick photos through the kitchen window before heading outside to chase the miscreant away.

As soon as I opened the doors to the deck the critter looked up and as I put a foot out of the door she/he headed into the woods at top speed. A good response!

Joan was sitting out on the deck later that afternoon and thought that she heard the bear in the woods, but we have seen neither hide nor hair since.

Alas, in the interests of not habituating a wild creature to humans, our bird feeding is over at least until December when the bears begin their hibernation.

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