Sunday, August 27, 2017

Butterflies, Damselflies, and Goldenrod

Painted Lady Butterfly

It has been too long since my last blog update. Oops though it isn't entirely my fault, I have been sick, very sick, but am now getting better and after about 4 weeks out of the field I have actually been able to get out with the camera. So today's post are some of my more recent photographs. This update was supposed to be about mushrooms, but my research just isn't happening as quickly as I would like so I thought I would post these instead.

These first two photographs are butterflies that are visitors to MA. They can't overwinter here (too cold) so they usually show up later in the summer, some years they never show up in large numbers. This year for some reason Monarchs arrived early and the Painted Lady above has also been seen in larger than usual numbers along with the Common Buckeye which is usually anything but common.

Monarch Butterfly
I photographed both butterflies in my local city park enjoying the Joe-pye weed. Made for a nice first outing after weeks off my feet.

These next two photos are both Damselflies. Damselfies are Odonate's as are Dragonflies. The difference between Damselflies and Dragonflies is partly size, Damsels are usually smaller, but also they can fold their wings. Dragonfly wings are always open, sometimes angled forward or backward but they can't fold neatly along the back. 

The blue Damsel above is a Skimming Bluet. Both Damsels were photographed at Ames Nowell State Park, Abington, MA. Aug. 25th.

This orange beauty above is an Orange Bluet. I have been wanting to photograph one of these for a while so was happy to see them this week.

It is August so it is time for the Goldenrods to start to bloom. There are many varieties, these two photographs represent just 2 of them, and sorry I can't be more exact than that today.  I was going to include a photo of ragweed in flower, but the photo isn't as sharp as I prefer so am leaving it out. But ragweed is also in bloom and is usually the real cause of hay-fever. Goldenrod pollen is really too heavy to float in the air and be breathed in. Ragweed flowers, on the other hand, are small and green so most people don't even notice that the plant is in bloom, so they blame the showy goldenrod that is so conspicuous.

Note that the top photo shows a stalked goldenrod, these plants are often quite tall and showy, the second image above is a flat topped goldenrod, with more bushy growth characteristics. The leaves are also thinner than those on the top image.

Last image today is a Great Blue Heron waiting for dinner at the upper pond/lake in my local park here in Brockton. It stayed motionless while I made my photographs waiting for a fish or frog to swim too close. Hope it found dinner sooner rather than later.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.