Photographs by Frank

31 August 2012

Another Afternoon at the Beaver Swamp

Filed under: Amphibians,Odontates,Other Insects,wildflowers — Tags: , , , — Frank @ 6:00 PM

As summer draws rapidly to a close, I feel the urge to wander in wetlands more strongly than earlier in the season. Yesterday Joan and I both headed down to the beaver swamp. She to work on her skills at identifying and documenting wildflowers and I to do my usual thing!

Joan is on a hunt for New England Asters… don’t ask why! Thus far I have lead her to White Wood Asters (a few days ago) and New York Asters (yesterday)… so the hunt continues!

We headed out a bit earlier that I usually do (around 2:30 instead of more toward 4:00). I was hoping that maybe there would be a bit more activity earlier in the afternoon than there had been on my previous excursions. I was willing to sacrifice good light for photographic opportunity. I was not disappointed! Of course we’ll never know if it was the hour or the luck of the draw!

The green frog was sitting in the middle of the beaver pond maybe five or six feet from where I sat on the bank when I noticed it; I had been sitting in the same spot for five or ten minutes when I noticed it. I do not know if had been there all of the time or if had appeared just before I saw it…. so much for the observant nature photographer! Any way, wWe watched each other for fifteen or twenty minutes. It was very unconcerned about my presence.

Presumably, it was hoping to catch a passing insect. Of course, I was hoping to photograph it catching an insect. It was much more patient that I as it was still sitting there when I arose and moved on.

The toad on the other hand was rather jumpy! It is quite amazing that a 1.5 inch long creature can end up two or three feet away in a single bound. I stalked this “fellow” for a couple of leaps, at which point it must have decided to try relying on its camouflage. When I finally found it again, it kept still and I was able to shoot a number of frames.

The highlight of the afternoon was a very brief glimpse¬† of a large darner ovipositing. Dragonflies are very wary when laying eggs. After I spied this individual, I turned slowly and carefully to get the two frames I did. As soon as I made a larger movement in an attempt to get a better angle off she went! The same was true for the tandem pair of meadow hawks… I made just two exposures before they were off again.

Hunting meadowhawks are another story… both of these females kept making brief hunting forays returning to the same perch after each foray. As usual they were very unconcerned by my presence and I was able to slowly move closer and get the best angle possible. Whatever they were hunting must have been small as I never either of them with prey… or maybe they were not very successful hunters!

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  1. Tremendous shot of Aeshna tuberculifera! Best I have seen Frank. Great for ID.

    Comment by KDC — 31 August 2012 @ 6:33 PM

  2. Another great crop of your work. The aster with an accompanying bug was spot on!

    Your amphibians posed well for you – the angles and the colors are amazing.

    Comment by Nikon Joe — 5 September 2012 @ 8:12 AM

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