Friday, August 27, 2010

Saganashkee Slough - 8.25.10 - Post 2

Okay, here are the last shots from the hike on Wednesday.

Common Tern Overhead
First, there were two new species that I meant to add to the other post.  This is a Common Tern.  Not bad for shooting a bird in flight, eh?  If you look closely you can see bone structure of the bird's 'downstage' wing.  Who knew my camera could take x-rays? :)
Eastern Amberwing at Rest
I caught a new dragonfly, too.  This is an Eastern Amberwing.  Apparently what this species is famous for is being very small.  It's less than an inch from head to tail.  But it's not a damselfly.  The body is stocky, which is a dragonfly trait and it rests with it's wings open.  Damselflies rest with them folded back.  If you click on this picture to make it bigger, you can see the really fantastic markings along its tail.

Poisonous Pokeberry
I really liked the contrast between the stems and the berries on this plant.  We see green stems with purple berries all the time.  Here we have purple stems with green berries.  Now, to be fair, they're green because they're immature.  This is a pokeberry (or poke, pokebush, pokeroot, polk salad, polk salat, polk sallet, inkberry or ombĂș) and it's famous for being highly poisonous.  So, you know, no snacking.  However, when the berries mature they can be used for ink or dye.  I read that pokeberry ink was used to write a lot of battlefield letters during the Civil War.

Hymenoptera Grand Central Station

This is another shot worth making bigger to see the details.  It was Insect Grand Central Station.  There's two bumblebees and the green bee that I posted about in the first post, at least.  I can't tell if one of the brown spots is just a dead bit of plant or if it's a bug.  Either way... that's a lot of bees on one plant.

Clouded Sulphur Very Clearly

So I checked this guy out on several websites.  I thought he was a Little Yellow, like I saw at Midewin.  Turns out that he's a Clouded Sulphur instead.  I love his big green eyes.

Frog with a Tat?

Yet another Southern Leopard Frog.  I'm starting to think they're the only frogs living in Northern Illinois.  If you look at his left front foot, you can see his veins.  That's a little odd, isn't it?  Maybe he's the counter-culture frog and it's a tattoo.  This was the only frog out there who would let me take his picture.  Most other frogs I didn't see.  I heard them as they went 'plip' into the water as I approached. 

Someone Paid Attention in Geometry
 Another thing I saw a lot of were spiderwebs.  None of them had anyone home, so I'm not sure what kind of  spiders they belong to, but I love the geometry in them.  I have to wonder how something with the brain the size of a pinhead gets each strand to have exactly the same amount of space between them.  I also think that photographing something as ephemeral as spiderwebs is something that takes an insane amount of practice.

Spiderweb with No One Home
 This one was 'messier', but I could get the center and more of the web to come in in focus.  But again, this kind of thing clearly takes a lot of work to get right.
Vervain Looks over Saganashkee Slough

As you may have noticed, I have a macro lens and I'm not afraid to use it.  But I did catch this landscape on one side of the Slough and I just loved it.  The tree and the vervain in front, the water in the middle-ground and the forest and sky in the back, keep your eye traveling throughout the whole photo.

Okay, that's the end of that trip.  Later the same day I went to the Hedge for a few minutes. I'll post those next.

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