No Time to Spare

Top Photo: A male slaty skimmer waits for flying insects to pass by. If you spend any time out in nature, you’ll no doubt see animals sitting around seemingly doing nothing. Perching, waiting, and sitting still is just part of life for many wild creatures. There’s usually a very good reason for the apparent idleness. While some dragonflies spend a good portion of their day hunting on the wing, slaty skimmers, like the one pictured above, do their hunting fromRead more

Brief Report from the Wetlands

First, some ode news, odonata, that is. Great blue skimmers and slaty skimmers have emerged from their watery, pre-adult aquatic habitat.       Eastern amber wings have been with us for some time, although I never tire of looking at them.     Common whitetails are in the process of ovipositing (laying eggs) in the Wetlands.         On cooler days, yellow-bellied sliders stack up on any available perch. But, you probably won’t see many turtles out baskingRead more

Odes Around Us

Top Photo: Carolina saddlebags. Dragonflies and damselflies belong to an order of insect called Odonata. Dragonflies are in the suborder Anisoptera, the damsels in the suborder Zygoptera. Dragonflies usually hold their wings out to their sides when at rest. They are typically larger and bulkier than damselfies. Dragons have large compound eyes which, in many species, cover most of the head. Some species eyes only just meet at the top of the head, but still cover a large portion ofRead more

Did you see that?

Here’s some of what you missed if you haven’t been walking our trails here at the Museum lately. This first item is something that I’ve missed for the past five or six years here at the Museum, a damselfly. Azure Bluets have probably been in our Wetlands long before I arrived here some six years ago, but I have not, until now, seen one close enough to identify it as such. Dragonflies continue to emerge from their watery, prepubescent homes inRead more

Just some odes

Each year I post some pictures of odes (usually the same species) that can easily be found in our Wetlands. Here’s this year’s group. These are all very common species which can be seen just about anywhere that there’s water. Their abundance, however, does nothing to diminish their allure. And finally, a close shot of… Enjoy!Read more

Life and Death in the Wetlands

I first saw the snake in the photo as it was swimming in the shade of the willows at the edge of the Wetlands. It slowly crawled out of the water and onto one of the trees. Up it went until it found a limb to its liking and proceeded to follow it out to its end. I assume it was looking for bird nests in the willows, there’s much catbird activity in the area. Apparently finding no nest inRead more

What dragonfly is that? Part 2

Included in this, Part 2 of the “What Dragonfly is that?” are two dragonflies that are unmistakable. They are both common at a wide range of ponds, lakes and slow moving rivers. They are the Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) and the Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera). The Common Whitetail (above) can hardly be ignored with its white abdomen and bold wing markings. It is found near water as well as in locations far from water. These conspicuous dragonflies tend to perchRead more

Highlight of a “rough” day!!

As much as I enjoy Dino Days (July 16-17) and sifting through tons of dusty, gray, ocean-bottom sediment for fossils, I have to say that the highlight of Dino Days (at least day one, Saturday) was watching a Rough Green Snake eat a dragonfly in a willow tree just off the Wetlands Overlook in Explore the Wild. It was near the end of the day, hot and tired. Ranger Kristin and I were watching for frogs from the side ofRead more

Migration and Cyrano de Bergerac

It’s been nearly two weeks since I last posted to the Journal. The reason for my absence has to do with migration. No, not the migration of ?birds or some other wildlife, but of computer files from one server to another. Migration now appears to be over and hopefully there are no lingerers. On to the good stuff! ============ At around 12:30 on July 19, while seeking shady shelter from the searing sun, I noticed a large dragonfly carrying anotherRead more

Mocha anyone?

Back in July of 2008 I found the remains of a dragonfly on the path in Catch the Wind. There was enough of the insect to determine that it was a Mocha Emerald, a dragonfly of small, shady forest streams. I added that ode to the list of dragonflies that could potentially be encountered (alive) here at the Museum. I based the dragonfly’s inclusion to the list on the fact that I found the insect where I did (in CatchRead more