Saturday, August 13, 2011

There Be Dragons ...

Since I have been away for almost a week, I couldn't wait to get to Great Meadows early Saturday morning to see what has changed since my last visit. One thing that has changed from all the rain we had in the last 2 weeks is the water level in both the upper impoundment and the Concord River.

Another is the transformation of the Tick Trefoil from pretty purple flower, to those velcro like seeds that stick to your clothing. Fall at GMNWR would be much more pleasant without them. In fact, I wonder if this moth is actually stuck to them.

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Today's title comes from all the dragon-flies that call Great Meadows home. Today, I tried to see how many different types I could photograph on natural surfaces (no paths allowed). It's amazing the diversity in size and coloration that you find.

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Female Ruby Meadowhawk

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Lake Darner

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Blue Dasher

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Whitefaced Meadowhawk

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Blue Dasher

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Unidentified


In addition to the dragonflies, there were most of the "usual suspects". Several other things caught my eye.

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Great Golden Digger Wasp on Downy Swamp Milkweed

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A Cedar Waxwing from a flock of about 10 feeding on bugs on the Concord River near the "holt"

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Great Blue Heron headed to deep water to fish


Occasionally when you arrive in the morning you may find a splattered watermelon at the base of the tower. (Youths are rumored to be involved.) Well it appears that chipmunks appear to like watermelon. I wonder if they spit out the seeds?
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As I was walking back towards my car on the Cross Dike Trail, I saw this photo. It is my favorite from the morning; the perfect end to an enjoyable day at Great Meadows.

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As always these are my best identifications based upon my limited (but growing) naturalist knowledge. Feedback and corrections are always appreciated...but please be gentle.