Photographs by Frank

20 July 2020

Weekend Odes

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 4:00 PM

The past few days have been has hot and hunid as it gets in this neck of the woods. Despite the weather, I have headed out to look for odes on three occasions over the weekend.

On Saturday morning, I headed down the road on the Harris Center property near our house. I went as far as the beaver dam. The odes were few and far between, but they were there.

On Sunday morning, I walked up the unmaintained section of Brimstone Corner Road. The odes were very sparse… I saw exactly two dragonflies, both patrolling an old log yard well above head hight.

Sunday afternoon, I headed across the lake to camp and waded the shoreline. Again, the odes were sparse, but present.

The first three photos below were made on Saturday morning; the remainder on Sunday afternoon.

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22 June 2020

Odes at the Lake

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 1:00 PM

Trying to beat the heat yesterday afternoon, I spent a few hours at our camp on Gregg Lake.

There were a moderate number of odes present. Most common were unidentified clubtails cruising the lake and moving so fast that I could not get a good view nor a photograph. There were also a fair number of bluets in the emergent vegetation along the lake edge.

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22 June 2016

Weekend Odes at the Lake

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Spring — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:30 PM

The weather was hot (for NH) and humid last weekend (18 and 19 Jun). We headed down to the lake and our camp for both afternoons. I spent most of the time we were there odeing.

Both days there was lots of evidence of damselfly emergence… teneral bluets were the most common ode I encountered and I even found a few damselfly exuvia.

Interestingly, on Saturday, there were many lancet clubtails present. However, on Sunday, I saw very few despite the conditions and the time of day begin similar. I have no idea why.

Photos from Saturday

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Photos from Sunday

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30 May 2016

Lakeshore Odes

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer — Tags: — Frank @ 1:00 PM

We had a sneak preview of summer on Saturday. The temperature hit 90 deg. F, the sun was unrelenting and the humidity around 70%. Ugh!

Mid-afternoon, found us in the kayaks and headed to camp. There were two species of dragonflies (a clubtail, probably the lancet clubtail, and a darner) on the wing and patrolling the lake shore. Not once did I observe any of these individuals perched… thus I have not photos!

Exploring the vegetation along the shore was more productive. In a span of roughly 300 feet of shoreline, I found six dragonflies entangled in spider webs and three exuvia (all looking to my un-expert eye) like the same species).

The exuvia are not unexpected this time of year. However, the density of entangled dragonflies is exceptional. Odes entangled in spider webs are not rare, but the usual density (during the peak of the summer) is closer to one in five hundred feet

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21 August 2015

Gregg Lake Clubtails

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer — Tags: , — Frank @ 4:00 PM

August at the lake is time for the big dragonflies… clubtails and darners.

The most common ode around the lake on Wednesday afternoon was the black-shouldered spinyleg, one of the clubtails. I also observed a number of dragonhunters (another clubtail) and a number of unidentified darners. The last of these only as they flew by at breakneck speed.

As for damselflies, there were a few male variable darners hanging around the vegetation along the shore; always low to the water. These are stragglers. The bulk of the population mated some weeks ago and are now gone.

The clubtails and darners are difficult to observe and especially photograph. Both groups are strong fliers and don’t spend much time perched.

Darners are the worst in this respect. They are really fast in flight, so you don’t get a good look at them. They also tend to perch high in the trees and thus are hard to see and harder to photograph.

The clubtails are a bit easier… they tend to perch lower down, often on rocks. Thus, getting a good photo is at least thinkable. On the lake they like to perch on the deep water side of the many rocks that emerge from the water.

My strategy is to watch them carefully and observe where one lands. I can usually observe them with the binos. Often, I can then get the kayak in position to make a good photo before they decide to take flight again.

Photographing at high magnification from a moving platform (i.e. a kayak) has its own challenges and my “keeper” rate is lower than is typical. However, the “hunt” is an entertaining way to spend a hot sunny afternoon.

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20 July 2015

Gregg Lake Odes

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer — Tags: — Frank @ 4:00 PM

I spent a few hours yesterday (Sunday, 19 Jul) afternoon wading the shore of Gregg Lake near our camp. The weather was hot, sunny and breezy.

Although there were a few dragonflies in flight over the water, I saw only damselflies along the edge of the lake. The most common damsels were variable dancers. There were mostly males present; probably two or three dozen along the roughly hundred feet of lake shore I wandered.  However, I also observed four or five tandem pairs ovipositing.

I also saw two male eastern forktails and either one or two (it could have been the same individual twice) male swamp spreadwings. I do not remember seeing swamp spreadwings along the lake before.

The highlight of the day (for both the spider and myself; not so much for the damselfly) was watching a spider feasting on a variable dancer trapped in a web.

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6 July 2015

Little Bluets at Camp

Filed under: "Camp",Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 11:00 AM

Late on Friday (3 July) afternoon Joan and I headed for our camp on Gregg Lake. I spent about ninety minutes (beginning about 4 PM) photographing odes along the lake shore.

Although I observed a small number of dragonflies in flight over the lake, I only saw two species of damselflies along the shore. The most common damselfly was the male Little Bluet. I saw at least a dozen individuals in about a 100 feet of shore, all perched within a foot of the water; the large majority with in six inches. Additionally, I observed a single pair of variable dancers ovipositing.

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23 February 2015


Filed under: "Camp",Mammals,Monadnock Region,Wildlife,Winter — Tags: — Frank @ 9:30 PM

Yesterday was the first day with above freezing temperatures since early January… the high was 33 degrees! The warm spell did not last long. It was 11 when I got up this morning and it is -1  (-15 with the wind chill) as I write this at about 8:30 PM. The low tonight will be around -10 without the wind chill.

We are down to about a cord and a third of wood… I suspect that we’ll be switching to oil in a couple of weeks!!!

Joan and I took advantage of yesterday’s warm spell by heading across the lake on snow shoes. Our main goal was to rake the three feet of accumulated snow from the roof of our camp. Eventually it will warm up and rain on the snow and that sort of weight is not kind to old structures. Thus the need for snow removal.

While I started the raking, Joan explored the various animal tracks in the snow on the lake. A coyote had walked along the shore of the cove and stopped to dig out and explore an animal carcass buried in the snow.

Another set of tracks ended at a small hemlock a few feet off the lake. Sitting about eight feet up in said tree was a porcupine doing what porcupines usually do while sitting in hemlocks… eating!

It is very common this time of year to find the snow under hemlocks littered with small bits of hemlock branches; a sure sign of a porcupine had a meal aloft. Hemlock seems to be their preferred winter food and they are messy eaters!

I was easily persuaded to exchange the roof rake for my camera and was able to move to within a dozen feet of the porcupine without any evidence of concern upon its part… it just kept on munching hemlock boughs.

Eventually, it descended the tree and headed towards me along the edge of the lake. It shuffled around for a short while and then climbed another, small hemlock a few feet from the first. It settled in to eat again about eight or ten feet off the ground. After some time it headed further up the tree and I decided that it was time to get back to the roof rake.

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22 September 2013

A Windy Day in Early Autumn

Filed under: "Camp",Early Fall,Landscapes,Monadnock Region — Tags: , — Frank @ 9:00 PM

Late this afternoon, we took a quick “spin” on the lake in the kayaks. It was breezy and cool but the interesting clouds made for good photography.

September Skies #1 (Gregg Lake Near Our Camp)

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September Skies #2 (The Gregg Lake Shore)

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A Hint of Things to Come

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12 September 2013

Retirement, Taking Advantage of

Filed under: "Camp",Early Fall — Tags: — Frank @ 1:00 PM

Yesterday (Wednesday)  was a hot, sticky, summer day.

After lunch, we decided to take full advantage of retirement and headed down to camp. We had the lake to ourselves.

I took the “ode rig” along, but saw only seven or eight odes (all on the wing) over the few hours we were out. Ode season is coming to an end and there are signs of autumn everywhere.

I spent some time wandering the woods near camp and practiced my photographic “seeing”.

Here are the results:

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Yes… the colors in the first photo (Decaying Bole #1) are “true to life”.

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