Photographs by Frank

14 August 2011

One More Turn in the Swamp / Close Encounters of the Ursine Kind

Yesterday afternoon, I headed back down to the beaver swamp at the back of our property just to see what was around.

Meadowhawks, including one mating pair, were present but in lower numbers than previously seen. The darners were ever present patrolling their territories and there were many spreadwings (all the same species) present.

At one point, while I was stalking a spreadwing, I heard the loud flapping of  wings (the sign of a nearby darner) and was quite surprised when a female landed nearby intent on laying eggs (see the third photo). She was only present a short time (about a minute) as another darner (male maybe?) appeared and harassed the first. Much to my surprise they both fell into the water but then both we gone in a matter of a few seconds.

The male whitetail was the only one (of either sex) that I saw, twice while I had it in my viewfinder it flew off only to land on my shirt!

The highlight of the afternoon was a “writing spider” (Argiope aurantia) eating a damselfly. I did not see the initial capture of the damselfly but I did spend twenty minutes (according to the exif data) watching and photographing the meal.

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On my way back up the hill to the house I heard the noise of a large animal off to my right, I stopped and turned to locate the source and was quite surprised to see a good sized (four or five feet long) black bear coming toward me less than a hundred feet away! She/he stopped maybe 75 feet away when they spotted me.

My first thought was to get the extension tube off the lens so I could get a photograph! Instead, I acted on my second thought… I headed off at an angle away from the bear and towards the house leaving the bear standing its ground.


  1. C’mon, Frank! Any nature photographer worth his/her salt would have gotten off a few of the black bear! However, what you did blog is among your best. The sequel with the writing spider was most interesting – especially since there are no black bear shots.

    Comment by Just Joe — 14 August 2011 @ 5:15 PM

  2. Tremendous day. These are the discoveries that only come by time on their turf. Wise move on the black bear. You may get a second chance for a pic!

    Great story and great shots


    Comment by Kevin — 14 August 2011 @ 9:09 PM

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