Photographs by Frank

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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10 June 2014

Willard Pond & Loverens Mill Cedar Swamp

I am just a little behind in my blogging…

Last Friday, I headed out to see what was up ode-wise at two different habitats.

My first stop was the Audubon Sanctuary at Willard Pond. I was specifically interested in seeing what was up at the Mill Pond there. In the past, I have observed the Kennedy’s Emerald there.

On this trip, I did see a few dragonflies in flight over the pond that may have been emeralds but none perched so I did not get any photos. of them.

I did spend some time in the woods along the Mill Pond trail photographing wild flowers… there were literately many dozens of lady slippers along the beginning section of the trail. I also photographed odes in a number of small clearings. (All of the photos below, except for the last one, were made at Willard Pond.)

My second stop was the Nature Conservancy’s Loverens Mill property*. The rare cedar swamp at this site often has some unique odes, but this trip was earlier in the season than I have been in previous years.  I did observe small numbers of dragonflies in constant flight as well as small numbers of jewelwings, mostly river jewelwings; it is early in the season.

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* Joan’s father donated a parcel of land which is incorporated into this preserve. Her family calls it the “Windsor Bog”.


10 December 2010

Massachusetts Wildlife

Back in September, I entered ten images in a photo contest sponsored by Massachusetts Wildlife magazine, a quarterly publication of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

I had pretty much forgotten about the contest and my entry. However, I was pleasantly reminded about it when I recently received email informing me that four of my photos have been given awards!

According to the email from Peter Mirick,  the editor, there were “1,137 entries received from 183 individuals living in 149 cities and towns, some as far away as Florida and Arizona.”

No large cash prizes! Just a subscription to the magazine and a few extra copies of the  issue in which the images will be published.  However, it is nice to have ones work recognized this way.

Here are the four images that were selected:

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And here are the other entries:

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Thanks for “wandering by”.

24 May 2010

Horseshoe Crabs, et al. at Wellfleet Bay Audubon Sanctuary

Filed under: Audubon Sanctuaries,Birds,Wildlife — Tags: , , — Frank @ 2:00 PM

On the high tides of the new and full moons in spring, horseshoe crabs turn to mating. Thus when mid-May rolls around in New England, my thoughts turn to horseshoe crabs… hey I can’t help it it is just the way my mind works

All of this probably has something to do with my youth, profitably spent on the beaches of Long Island Sound during Jacques Cousteau’s  heyday. But I digress!

About a week ago (Sunday, 16 May 2010 to be exact),  Joan and I made our second annual trip to the Wellfleet Bay Mass Audubon Sanctuary in Wellfleet, MA (on Cape Cod) in search of horseshoe crabs and whatever else the day might bring. (Wildlife photographers learn quickly not to expect anything and to be prepared for everything.)

The horseshoe crabs were there and actively mating… we probably saw about a dozen mating pairs and twice that many lone males.

This four shot sequence (taken over about 4 min) shows the process. The larger female tows the male around. At the water line (of the highest tides of the month), the female digs into the sand (first image), deposits her eggs (second image) and drags the male through the nest (third image) to fertilize them. The pair then heads back to open water (last image).

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Sometimes, large numbers of shore birds attracted to feast on the eggs, but not this time. However, we did see a few small birds on the beach including an endangered piping plover and a pair of least sandpipers.

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We also had great fun watching (and photographing ) the fiddler crabs.

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