Saturday, June 16, 2007

Butterflies & Dragonflies

Near where we live, a new subdivision is being planned. For the road into this subdivision, they have taken out many of the trees which has fragmented what used to be a nice little woods. They have also put a water drainage retention pond down at the end of the road. We had over an inch-and-a-half of rain this morning, so the pond was pretty full.
I took a little drive over there on the ATV this afternoon to see if there was anything that might be interesting for a blog and here's what I found.

Rick had been over there one day last week and told me he found some very tiny deer hoofprints, so we know that some fawns have been born. I found some of these little hoofprints also, and because I didn't have a tape measure along, I have used my own foot to show you the difference in size

fawn hoofprint

and the mother deer hoofprint
(looks like my toenail polish needs to be re-done but at least my toe isn't hairy!)

On the path to the pond, I spotted this Tiger Swallowtail getting nectar from some thistle blossoms. I had to walk through some thistles myself to get this picture, but it was worth it!

As I was walking down to the water, I could hear all these "plopping" noises of something jumping into the water. As I got closer, I realized it was tiny little frogs. Here's one of the frogs that's still retaining some of his tadpole identity.

There were lots of dragonflies down by the pond. The majority of the dragonflies I saw were Common Whitetails--they were everywhere (this is a male).

Here is a picture of a female who was laying eggs on the edge of the pond. She was sitting on the edge of the water and tapping the end of her tail in the water. There were several males hovering all around her. I figured she might be laying eggs and this was confirmed when I checked in my Stokes "Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies" field guide.

Most of these dragonflies weren't sitting still too long, so I didn't get too many pictures of them.

This is a female Twelve-Spotted Skimmer.

And here is the male Twelve-Spotted Skimmer.

Even though this isn't a very good picture, I'm going to guess it's a Familiar Bluet, especially since the description of its habitat in my field guide says, "A large variety of habitats, including poorly vegetated lakes and ponds" which this pond is.
Lastly, on my drive home, I spotted this Red Admiral on the dirt trail ahead of me.

It was hot and humid this afternoon, with almost no wind, but I covered myself with insect repellant and had a really fun time wandering around this little pond and seeing all the beautiful living things that made their home in and around this muddy water.

Thanks for coming along!


Mary said...

Can I come next time? My goodness, Ruth. When the air is still, there is so much to photograph and you did a great job.

Our humidity climbed today and right now I smell like OFF, too. At least your toenails are painted. I haven't taken the time to make mine pretty yet :o)

I loved this photographic adventure. Keep them coming! I saw a Monarch butterfly fly by my face today and I didn't have my camera. Aaaarrgh.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the walk again, I had no idea there was so much to see in Tyrol Hills subdivision and a re-tention pond, how wonderful. Those red admirals like to sit on the dry cat food on the deck,I'm not sure if they are eating something or just smelling the flavor. Fritlary's sit in the same place, what is there about cat food.
Those pictures of the dragonflys are super, didn't realize there are so many different kinds.
This adventure was GREAT!!

KGMom said...

I just stopped by and found all your lovely photos from your walk. I love the electric blue of the bluet.

Body Soul Spirit said...

Great photos of difficult subjects! I love the butterfly and the twelve spotted skimmers (and the frog!) I have noticed deer hoof prints near the river this week, but no tiny ones. I will have to check more carefully.

Jayne said...

What a fun little journey you had Ruthie! I've seen so few butterflies this year as it's sooooooooooo dry here. Did I mention it's verrrrrry dry here? Ugh. I'll just soak up the beauty of yours.

mon@rch said...

Such wonderful time you had with great photos of the butterflies and dragonflies! Keep up the great work!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I have taken your advice and try to remember my camera. It's amazing what a person sees when they actually slow down enough and look for it. Now if only those flying insects would sit still a little longer.....

Hi Mom,
There's DOZENS of different kinds of dragonflies....I didn't know there were so many kinds either. The pond is way back in the woods (behind our second to the last neighbor at the end of Woodbine street). I don't think too many people realize it's there, but that's where we put up the wood duck house (no tenants there yet either).

Hi Donna,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for sending me your art too!

Hi Ruth,
Those winged wonders are so hard to photograph, I think I deleted more than I saved. Our whitetail deer here start having babies in late May and early June. We did see fawns back by this pond last year, so I'll be trying to get some pictures of them this year too.

Hi Jayne,
You guys in Georgia have been dry for a couple years now, right? It's been a long time since we've had a really dry year. Humans can just turn on the faucet for a drink, but I guess all the critters in nature have to go to wherever they can find water. I'll keep you in my prayers for rain.

Thanks Tom, for your kind words. I'm inspired by other bloggers and the best thing is that all these views of nature are "free of charge."

Larry said...

Lots of nice insects you saw on your journey-quite a feet!-I haven't gotten to the point of looking up insects I find yet.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
Welcome back! Hope you had a good week fishing.

I've started doing what Mary does...take pictures and then identify them when I get home. This works out pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I happened to find your website with photos of dragonflys while browsing today's Wikipedia home page: beautiful photo of Kirby's Dropwing. After reading the Wikipedia info on dragonflys I'm simply humbled by it. What a simply incredible and facinating insect!