Monday, June 6, 2011

Lincoln Park Ponds, more new species - May 31, 2011

Wow, haven't posted in almost two weeks.  Sorry about that.  It's not that I haven't been out shooting, I just haven't had time to get a post together.

That and the fact that I'm completely obsessed with  It's a fantastic site to talk to people who do a lot of what I do here.

Anyway, on Memorial Day, May 31, I hiked all three ponds on one of the very first 90 degree (F) we had this year.  The weather has been very slow to warm up which has kept the cold-bloodeds in hiding for a long, long time.  They're *just* making their way out now, as the migratory birds (the warblers and some of the finches, etc...) make their way up and out of the city.

Sign of Summer
 One of my favorite signs of summer.  The dragonflies are back!  We don't have the clouds of them (okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration) that we had around this time last year, but slowly but surely, a few species are parking themselves somewhere easy to photograph.
Bowing Carolina

  I'll need to go back and check my posts from last year, but I think I was identifying all the bright red dragonflies like this as Red Saddlebags, but while checking this a few dozen times before putting it up on Project Noah (I *love* that people there will correct you if you get a spotting wrong, but I'd prefer to get it right myself the first time if I can.)  Anyway, it turns out that this is, in fact, a Carolina Saddlebags.  You can tell because a Red has these clear patches on their wings right where they attach to the body.  This one is red to the abdomen, so it's a Carolina.  Another tell is that the last couple segments on the Carolina are dark brown or black.  They're the same red as the rest of the tail on the Red Saddlebags.

First Spotting of a Twelve Spotted
 Like last year, one of the first dragonflies and easiest to identify is the Twelve-Spotted Skimmer.  This guy would perch for about eight seconds, I'd get a few shots and then he'd fly off in about a ten foot radius circle and then come right back to this stick and perch again before starting the process all over.  Made it easy to shoot him.  I just had to wait a few seconds everytime he left, since I could depend on him to come back. :)

Red Ears with Their Eyes on Me
 Another one I've learned better about.  Last year I thought all the turtles in the North Pond were Red-Eared Sliders. Turns out a lot of them were Eastern Painted.  So when I learned that, I started thinking that maybe I was just getting them all wrong and they were all Painteds.  But no.  Here are some honest-to-goodness Red-Ears.  In this case you have a male (the smaller) and the female (the larger).
A Bee on a Bud

The bees are making their way out too.  Here's a honey bee checking out the early goldenrod.

And about the time the bees come out, the wasps come with them.  Clearly my "this can puncture me and I should flee" instinct didn't recover over the winter.  I'm still trying to figure out which kind of wasp he is.  Any ideas?

Okay, so this guy clearly isn't cold-blooded, but I was really chuffed over this sequence of shots I got of him coming in for a landing.

I would have loved for that last shot to have been a little clearer, but he landed pretty far back. It's still a fun series of shots, though.  Night Herons are about as exotic as we get out here.

The Carolina Saddlebag and the Red-Eared Sliders (properly identified) are my only new species for this post, but that brings my total up to 35 of my 50 new species.

1 comment:

  1. ooh, cool! I've never seen a Night Heron; he's gorgeous. We have a lot of Great Blue Herons here. Lovely macros of the insects and the dragonflies.