Friday, August 20, 2010

South Pond - 8.18.10 - Post 1

I had a few errands to run in Lincoln Park on Wednesday, so I left a little early and took a trip around the South Pond.  I haven't been down there in three or four weeks, so there was a fair bit of change.  It's a re-established ecosystem - they spent the last year draining the pond, redeveloping the bottom of it and relandscaping the entire thing and adding the elevated boardwalk (made not of boards, but recycled plastic bottles.)

So in a month a lot changes.  A lot of the thinner grasses that were seeded have started coming in, a lot of the animal populations are starting to become accustomed to people and aren't hiding quite as much.  The tadpoles have metamorphed.

Like this guy.  He was sitting in the very shallow water at the end nearest the zoo, just hanging out.  You can see where his eyes and nose are out of the water, but the rest of him remains completely submerged.  I think he's a Green Frog (that's a species, not just a description), but the pictures I'm finding on line aren't *quite* the same.  Anyone have any other guesses?  The sign at the pond actually calls him a toad, but he's in the water and very smooth.  Doesn't that categorize him as a frog?
[Frog in the Shallows]

This guy seems to be a Northern Leopard Frog.  You can see his spots on his legs.  Why does water have to be so shiny? This shot would be so much better without those reflective marks.

[Frog Floats]

 There were two new dragonfly species being cooperative on this walk.  I'm reasonably sure this is a female Calico Pennant.  There's a chance it's a Prince Baskettail, but the resource I use for identifying dragonflies says the Baskettail rarely lands, and this one was still for a little while.  The same resource shows a more red Pennant, but then says "the female has the same markings in more golden tones."  So... I'm going with the Pennant unless someone has a better idea. [Calico: It's Not Just For Cats Anymore]

 I love the name of this one!  It's a Halloween Pennant.  And according to its description, it sits on top of vegetation even on very windy days... so I'm pretty that's right. ;)

[Halloween Pennant in August]

She even flipped around to show me her face.

[Halloween Pennant Turns to Stare]

 I so love this shot.  I've had a hard time getting insect eyes in focus.  This bee crawled right over the top of the flower to stare back at me.  Not bad for hand-held, eh?

[Bug Eyes]
 The Buckeyes were out in force.  This one was basking on a blade of grass, showing off his false eyes.

[Buckeye on Grass]
 This one was doing his 'butterfly thing' on top of a coneflower.

[Stopping for a Sip]
 I was actually shooting something else when I caught this bee coming up to land on the flowers.

[Bee, Incoming]
Last shot for the post.  This is a juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron.  A lot of the fledgling birds are starting to show  this time of year.  This one may have been fishing... or he may have just been admiring his reflection.

[Young Heron Reflects]

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