Photographs by Frank

1 June 2016

Memorial Day Odes

In the afternoon, on Monday (30 May, Memorial Day), I spent about three hours (about 1:45 to 4:45) hunting odes. I never got beyond maybe three hundred feet from the yard and was able to photograph nine different species of dragonflies and damselflies… and one grasshopper!

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Springtime Darner (male) #1
Springtime Darner (male) #1
Springtime Darner (male) #2
Springtime Darner (male) #2
Stream Cruiser (male)
Stream Cruiser (male)
Lancet Clubtail
Lancet Clubtail
Bluet sp. (male) with Prey
Bluet sp. (male) with Prey
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female) #1
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female) #1
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female) #2
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female) #2
Bluet sp. (male)
Bluet sp. (male)
Aurora Damsel (female)
Aurora Damsel (female)
ID Needed
ID Needed
Hudsonian Whiteface (male) with prey
Hudsonian Whiteface (male) with prey
Grasshopper
Grasshopper

 

19 May 2015

Big Bertha Returns

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Spring,The "New" Yard & Environs — Tags: — Frank @ 11:00 PM

Last evening I took a drive and picked up Big Bertha* from the repairman. Don’t ask how she ended up in the shop… I’m trying to forget!

This afternoon, just to make sure that all is working properly, I set up by the feeders and gave Bertha a thorough workout. All is looking good, as you can see in the photos below.

The male red-winged blackbird made an appearance again… just to observe. Very strange… the feeders are set up at the edge of the woods (i.e. it is not typical red-winged blackbird habitat) and we are at least a quarter mile from the nearest marsh where these birds usually hangout.

The other interesting visitor was a great crested flycatcher. I do not think that I have ever seen one before.

At least the feeders are in the right habitat for this species… mature deciduous forest, according to Sibley. This individual just perched for a minute or two near the feeders before it flew off.

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Eastern Pheobe
Eastern Pheobe
Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Goldfinch #1
Goldfinch #1
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
American Robin
American Robin
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
Goldfinch #2
Goldfinch #2

* My 600 mm f/4 lens.


 

20 February 2015

Shadow Play

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,The "New" Yard & Environs,Winter — Tags: , — Frank @ 4:00 PM

About a week ago, I headed “down back”. I was expecting fairly harsh light as the skies were mostly clear and light from a low angle in the mid-afternoon, just before the sun dipped below the ridge to the west.

My expectations were met and I was able to make a series of photos of the vegetation sticking up out of the snow casting shadows on the nicely textured snow. Every once in a while nature cooperates with the photographer and his visions!

A couple of days later we got another 10-12 inches of snow and although I have not been down back since, I am sure that there is not much emergent vegetation now!

My next vision involves shadows and wind-blown snow out on the lake. But not today (I think) as the mid-afternoon temperature is hovering right around 10 degrees (and some where around -5 with the wind chill).

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Shadow Play #1
Shadow Play #1
Shadow Play #2
Shadow Play #2
Shadow Play #3
Shadow Play #3
Shadow Play #4
Shadow Play #4
Shadow Play #5
Shadow Play #5
Shadow Play #6
Shadow Play #6

 

26 January 2015

Practice

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,The "New" Yard & Environs,Winter — Tags: — Frank @ 8:00 PM

Like so many things in life, photographing small birds takes practice.

Thus, yesterday afternoon I set up the chair blind, tripod, etc. near the feeders in our yard intent on getting some practice.

In addition to the usual birds we see all winter (chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and downy woodpeckers*) we have been seeing small flocks (8-12 individuals) of goldfinches at the feeder in the past week or so. I photographed them all yesterday.

I have decided that the titmice are the hardest of these birds to photograph.

Many individuals fly directly to the feeder from fairly far afield. Those that do stop at one of my “photo perches” near the feeder rarely stay for more than two or three second; a much shorter interval than any of the other species**.

Photographing titmice requires rapid reflexes… and much practice!

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White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Tufted Titmouse #1
Tufted Titmouse #1
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Tufted Titmouse #2
Tufted Titmouse #2

* We also seem to have a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers that visit the suet feeder regularly, most often fairly early in the morning. I did not see them yesterday afternoon.

** The red-bellies are hard to photograph as well for similar reasons. They spend a much shorter time at the feeder than the other woodpeckers. They stay only long enough to dislodge a large chunk of suet which they then carry off into the woods. I suspect that they cache much of this food for later use.


 

19 January 2015

Snow and Light

Filed under: Monadnock Region,The "New" Yard & Environs,Winter — Tags: — Frank @ 7:00 PM

Snow is not simple.

Once it falls to the ground, it begins to change. It is sculpted by the wind, pitted by rain, trod upon by animals, etc.

The late afternoon sunlight playing upon a snowy landscape makes life interesting for photographers.

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Untitled #1
Untitled #1
Untitled #2
Untitled #2
Untitled #3
Untitled #3
Untitled #4
Untitled #4
Untitled #5
Untitled #5

 

Sermons in Stone

Filed under: Monadnock Region,The "New" Yard & Environs,Winter — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

Joan’s old friend Sally sent me a copy of a wonderful book about stone walls for the holidays.

I finished the book, Sermons in Stone by Susan Allport, last week and was inspired to photograph the snowy walls along Brimstone Corner Road.

All of these photos were made within a quarter mile of the house.

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Sermon #1
Sermon #1
Sermon #2
Sermon #2
Sermon #3
Sermon #3
Sermon #4
Sermon #4
Sermon #5
Sermon #5
Sermon #6
Sermon #6
Sermon #7
Sermon #7
Sermon #8
Sermon #8
Sermon #9
Sermon #9

 

23 July 2014

The Dearth of Odes Continues

Monday afternoon I spent a couple of hours (4:15 – 6:30 PM) “down back” at our beaver-made wetland. I was interested to see how the population of odes was doing here. My impression is that the total numbers of odes was low here, as it was at other sites that we visited late last week.

Usually, there are large numbers (dozens) of darners flying out over the wet meadow. On this visit there were a few… maybe five or six… on patrol mainly over the beaver pond. I also saw a single male calico pennant and a single male frosted whiteface. That was it for dragonflies.

As for damselflies, I observed a handful (maybe six total) of spreadwings. The most common damsel was the sphagnum sprite. There were both males and females present and I saw two pairs flying in tandem. That was it. I saw no bluets at all.

The rose pogonias and swamp candles that were blooming a couple of weeks ago on my last visit “down back” were completely finished blooming. However, I did note the presence of sundew which I had never seen in this location before… probably because I was’t paying attention!

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Spreadwing
Spreadwing
Frosted Whiteface (male)
Frosted Whiteface (male)
Sphagnum Sprite (female)
Sphagnum Sprite (female)
Sphagnum Sprite (male)
Sphagnum Sprite (male)
Calico Pennant (male) #1
Calico Pennant (male) #1
Calico Pennant (male) #2
Calico Pennant (male) #2

 

20 July 2014

Garden Flowers

Since there were so few odes around on Friday, I took to making photographs of the flowers that Joan has growing around the vegetable garden.

At one point, I was aggressively investigated by a female ruby-throated hummingbird.  I guess that she decided that I was not going to eat too much nectar because, after the initial close encounter, she proceeded to visit a few flowers while I fumbled to take the extension tube off my camera. I was too slow and she headed off before I could make a photo of her.

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Purple Cone Flower & Visitor
Purple Cone Flower & Visitor
Black-eyed Susan with Visiting Committee
Black-eyed Susan with Visiting Committee
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #1
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #2
Garden Flower #3
Garden Flower #3
Garden Flower #4
Garden Flower #4
Garden Flower #5
Garden Flower #5

 

18 June 2014

One Quarter Mile – Seven Species

It is about a quarter mile between our house and Gregg Lake. There is an old logging road that begins across from the end of our driveway and heads directly for the lake.  On Monday, I spend a few hours wandering this road photographing odes.

I was able to photograph seven species in this short distance. (There are eight photos because I got both sexes of the Aurora Damsel.)

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Calico Pennant (imm. male)
Calico Pennant (imm. male)
Spangled Skimmer (female)
Spangled Skimmer (female)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Aurora Damsel (male)
Aurora Damsel (male)
Aurora Damsel (female)
Aurora Damsel (female)
Sedge Sprite (female) ??
Sedge Sprite (female) ??
Stream Cruiser (male)
Stream Cruiser (male)
ID Needed (teneral)
ID Needed (teneral)

10 June 2014

“Down Back”

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Spring,The "New" Yard & Environs — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

Still catching up…

Saturday afternoon I spent some time “down back” at the beaver-made wetland (a large wet meadow and small pond) on our property.

I was expecting to find Hudsonian Whitefaces back at the water to mate. They had been present up near the house for a couple of weeks but the numbers have fallen off in the past ten days or so.

Also present were the first four-spotted skimmers of the year and a few female chalk-fronted corporals. I saw, but did not photograph, a single damselfly… a sprite, probably a sedge sprite.

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Hudsonian Whiteface (mating wheel)
Hudsonian Whiteface (mating wheel)
Hudsonian Whiteface (male)
Hudsonian Whiteface (male)
Hudsonian Whiteface fe(male)
Hudsonian Whiteface fe(male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Four-spotted Skimmer (female)
Four-spotted Skimmer (female)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Hudsonian Whiteface (female)
Hudsonian Whiteface (female)
Hudsonian Whiteface (female)
Hudsonian Whiteface (female)
Four-spotted Skimmer (female)
Four-spotted Skimmer (female)
Four-spotted Skimmer (female)
Four-spotted Skimmer (female)

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