Photographs by Frank

28 August 2017

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.


 

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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