Photographs by Frank

24 July 2021

One Hour, Two Species

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 11:01 PM

This evening, I spent about an hour in the field at the Cilley Family Forest in Greenfield looking for odes. This piece of conserved land was once part of Joan’s cousin Stevie’s dairy farm. The temperature was in the mid-70s F and the skies were clear.

The land, which runs along the Contoocook River is mostly wooded but there is also a large field that gets nice late afternoon/evening light and often has good odeing. I arrived at about 6:30 and headed back to the truck about 7:30 as I had lost the light on the field.

I saw only two species of dragonflies and no damselflies. There were small numbers (maybe a half dozen or so) of female widow skimmers and similar numbers of Halloween skimmers (of both sexes).

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Widow Skimmer (female)
Widow Skimmer (female)
Halloween Pennant (male)
Halloween Pennant (male)
Halloween Pennant (imm. male or female)
Halloween Pennant (imm. male or female)

17 July 2021

Afternoon Odes

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 11:00 PM

I had a few ‘free’ hours on Thursday afternoon. I used them to take a walk down the road on the Harris Center’s property near our house. The temperature was in the low 80s F and the humidity high. The skies were mostly clear.

We had a long rainy spell; about 12 inches of rain over two weeks. Thus, I was not expecting an over abundance of odes. My expectations were met. There were odes out and about just not in large numbers.

In the two hours I was out, I saw three or four frosted whitefaces. These were the most common ode present. For all of the rest of the species I photographed, I saw only single individuals. I also saw (but did not photograph) a lone male calico pennant.

Most surprisingly, was the absence of ebony jewelwings . The stream draining the beaver swamp just downstream from the culverts is usually a reliable place to find this species in mid-summer. None were present on this trip.

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Frosted Whiteface (female)
Frosted Whiteface (female)
Familiar Bluet (male)
Familiar Bluet (male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male)
ID Needed
ID Needed
Emerald Spreadwing (female)
Emerald Spreadwing (female)
Variable Dancer (male)
Variable Dancer (male)
Variable Dancer (female)
Variable Dancer (female)

7 July 2021

Wednesday Olio

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Summer — Frank @ 11:00 PM

I have had my eye on the barn with the flag painted on it for sometime. However, there has been a large RV parked next to the barn for months.

Yesterday, as we drove back from dropping off our little camper for service, I noticed that the RV was gone but I did not have a camera with me. This afternoon, I headed back with the camera to make the photograph I had in my head for months.

The rest of the photos in this set were also made this afternoon and evening as I wended my way though life.

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Barn Flag
Barn Flag
Day Lily
Day Lily
Grass Seed Head
Grass Seed Head
Flower Shop
Flower Shop
Semaphore
Semaphore
Still-life in Window Light
Still-life in Window Light
Untitled
Untitled
A Man and His Dog
A Man and His Dog

5 July 2021

Yard Odes

Late this afternoon, I spent two hours roaming the yard looking for odes. It was mostly sunny and the temperature was in the low 70s. I was interested to see what odes would be out and about after a number of cool, rainy days.

I headed back inside a few minutes before seven. I had lost the light at ground level and the mosquitoes were making their evening appearance.

The number of odes were small but their was a nice variety of species present. The most common dragonfly present was the spangled skimmer. I saw roughly half a dozen individuals; all female. The most common damselfly was had a metallic green abdomen. They were reminiscent of the sprites, but I don’t think that that is what they are. Again, I saw roughly a half dozen. For all of the other species, I saw only single individuals.

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Spangled Skimmer (female)
Spangled Skimmer (female)
Eastern Pondhawk (imm. male)
Eastern Pondhawk (imm. male)
Butterfly (ID Needed)
Butterfly (ID Needed)
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Calico Pennant (female)
Calico Pennant (female)
Calico Pennant (female) with Mites
Calico Pennant (female) with Mites
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Damselfly (ID Needed)
Spreadwing
Spreadwing
Damselfly (ID Needed) with Prey
Damselfly (ID Needed) with Prey

13 June 2021

On the Trip Home

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Summer — Tags: , , — Frank @ 10:34 PM

This morning, I headed to Brattleboro to see what was up at the Vermont Center for Photography’s “tag sale’. Not that I need much in the way of ‘photo junk’, but I like to support the VCP and can always find something that will be useful. I came away with a few books, some mats and developing trays.

On the way home, I meandered and made some photographs. I made a few with the camera obscura but mostly, I made infrared (IR) photographs. It was a bright sunny middle of the day… good for IR landscapes and not much else.

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Town Hall, Chesterfield, NH (camera obscura)
Town Hall, Chesterfield, NH (camera obscura)
Mount Monadnock (Camera Obscura)
Mount Monadnock (Camera Obscura)
Mount Monadnock (IR)
Mount Monadnock (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Pasture (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Pasture (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Newly Mowed Hayfield (IR)
Mount Monadnock & Newly Mowed Hayfield (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #1 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #1 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #2 (IR)
Harrisville Mill Building #2 (IR)
Lake Skatutakee (IR)
Lake Skatutakee (IR)

24 May 2021

Ode Progression

It is hard to believe that it has been more than a week since my last ode post… where does the time go?!

A week ago, the predominate ode in our yard was the Hudsonian Whiteface. There were also small numbers of chalk-fronted corporals present. This afternoon, with the temperature about 70 deg. F, the skies mostly sunny and a bit of a breeze blowing, the most common odes in the yard were the chalk-fronted corporals (there were dozens, of both sexes), next most common were frosted whitefaces (again, dozens, of both sexes, were present).

Hudsonian whitefaces were essentially absent. I saw one or two. Presumably they have headed back to water where they will mate and lay eggs. I’ll have to find the time to go look!

Additionally, there a single individual of another species present (see the third photograph, below). I know that I have seen this species before, but even with a quick look through the book, I could not identify it… I’m rusty, I guess!

I have yet to see a damselfly this season. Although Joan says that she has see a few while she has been working in the garden.

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Chalk-fronted Corporal (female?)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female?)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (female)
ID Needed
ID Needed
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (male)
Frosted Whiteface (female)
Frosted Whiteface (female)
Frosted Whiteface (imm. male?)
Frosted Whiteface (imm. male?)

18 May 2021

More IR Landscapes

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Spring — Tags: , — Frank @ 9:30 PM

This morning, while running errands, I stopped at a few of my favorite ‘photo spots’ and made some infrared (IR) photos.

IR is a good way to keep photographers entertained. One can make interesting IR landscapes at mid-day on bright sunny days. That is, at times and under conditions where ‘normal’ photos are generally uninteresting.

These photographs were made in the hour surrounding noon under partly sunny skies. I was thoroughly entertained. I hope you are too!

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Hedgehog Mountain (IR)
Hedgehog Mountain (IR)
Contoocook River from the 2nd NH Turnpike Bridge
Contoocook River from the 2nd NH Turnpike Bridge
Contoocook River Near the Papermill
Contoocook River Near the Papermill

16 May 2021

First Odes of the Season (2021)

Yesterday, I saw my first dragonfly of the season; a Hudsonian Whiteface perched on the outside of our kitchen window. I actually made a photograph of it, but I’ll spare you having to see it!

This afternoon (with the temperature around 70 deg. F and partly cloudy skies), Hudsonian Whitefaces were common in the yard. Both females (yellow, thick abdomens) and immature males (yellow, relatively thin abdomens; the yellow will turn red as they mature) were present. The were more than a dozen individuals, all actively feeding and perching low to the ground for short periods while they devoured their prey. I also saw (and photographed a single immature male Chalk-fronted Corporal.

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Hudsonian Whiteface
Hudsonian Whiteface
Chalk-fronted Corporal (imm. male)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (imm. male)
Hudsonian Whiteface (imm. male)
Hudsonian Whiteface (imm. male)
Hudsonian Whiteface (female)
Hudsonian Whiteface (female)

15 May 2021

Landscapes in Infrared

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Spring — Tags: — Frank @ 10:15 PM

A bright sunny day, harsh light… what is a landscape photographer to do?

Make infrared (IR) photos of course!

Warning… photo talk ahead!

These photos are made by placing a filter* on the camera that blocks all but the longest wavelengths of light from getting to the sensor. Straight out of the camera the photos have a deep red color and very low contrast. Processing the files on the computer gives the results you see here.

Green foliage is very reflective in the IR and so it appears bright white in these photos. Water, on the other hand, efficiently absorbs IR light and thus can appear very dark.

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Untitled (IR)
Untitled (IR)
Weeping Willow (IR)
Weeping Willow (IR)
Contoocook River #1 (IR)
Contoocook River #1 (IR)
Contoocook River #2 (IR)
Contoocook River #2 (IR)
Farm Field (IR)
Farm Field (IR)
Farm Pond (IR)
Farm Pond (IR)
Bear Hill Farm (IR)
Bear Hill Farm (IR)

* Specifically, I used an ‘R72’ filter which blocks all light below 720 nm (a deep red color). The filter looks black. If you hold it up to the sky, you can barely make out the disk of the sun.

14 May 2021

Loon Update #2 (2021)

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Spring,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 10:44 PM

I spent about two hours (from 3-5 PM) watching the loons this afternoon. The temperature was about 70 deg. F and it was mostly cloudy. When I arrived at the lake there was a loon sitting on the nest. (S)he was alert and a bit pestered by the black flies.

Periodically the sun would peak out and the bird would open its mouth to “pant”. Avian “panting” is a thermoregulation mechanism. Birds don’t sweat. Thus, when they get hot the open their mouths to evaporate water from their mucus membranes in order to cool off.

After about an hour and a quarter, the loon stood up, examined the nest and settled back down facing in a slightly different direction. His/her movements looked a bit like egg turning, suggesting that at least one egg had been laid. Joan (who had arrived just a few minutes before this), using the spotting scope and a higher vantage point, confirmed that there is at least one egg (and possibly two) in the nest.

Thus the wait begins! The incubation period for loons is 25-30 days.

Roughly five minutes later and without warning, the loon on the nest slipped off the back of the nest into water. Shortly thereafter, the head of a bird appeared in a gap in the vegetation. It climbed up onto the nest, briefly examined the contents and sat down. I was puzzled by this turn of events until I finally noticed the head of a second loon just to the left of the nest. We had witnessed a ‘changing of the guard’! I had been completely unaware that the second loon had arrived at the nest. One of the hazards of peering into a telephoto lens is ‘tunnel vision’!

The loon in the water spent a few minutes moving nesting material towards the nest and then headed out to feed. After watching the sitting loon for a few more minutes, and knowing it could be an hour or more before the next changing of the guard, we packed up and headed home.

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Ever Watchful (Loon Sitting on Nest)
Ever Watchful (Loon Sitting on Nest)
Avian Panting (Loon On Nest)
Avian Panting (Loon On Nest)
Egg Turning? (Loon on Nest)
Egg Turning? (Loon on Nest)
Resettled
Resettled
The New Arrival
The New Arrival
Mounting the Nest
Mounting the Nest
Examining the Contents
Examining the Contents
Two Loons!
Two Loons!
Moving Nest Building Material
Moving Nest Building Material
Loon #2 Sitting on Nest
Loon #2 Sitting on Nest
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