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Monarch on Blazing Star

Monarch Butterfly on Blazing Star, Kennebunk Plains WMA, Maine

There is nothing to match a Monarch Butterfly on Northern Blazing Star. This is a good year for Monarchs in Southern Maine, after a very troubling year last year. I have seen many in different locations. Last year I saw only 2 Monarchs all summer. To see one on the endangered Blazing Star on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area near Kennebunk is very special. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Clearwing Moth

Clearwing Moth on Blazing Star, Kennebunk Plains WMA, Maine

These photos of a Clearwing Moth are some of my “most wanted” photos over the past few years. I saw my first Clearwing about 5 years ago here in Maine, and I have chased several in the years since, but never managed a good photo. When it happens it happens! And on Northern Blazing Star too, one of the rarest flowers in Maine, and threatened nationally. As to which Clearwing this is, Snowberry Clearwing or Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris Diffinis or Hemaris Thysbe) I am not expert enough to know. Both are possible in southern Maine. Snowberry is more likely, but this looks more like a Hummingbird Moth from the pictures I have been able to find on the web. Any help would be appreciated from those who know. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/1000th @ f4.5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic. You can tell how fast the wings beat…1/1000th did not quite stop them. 🙂

Mushroom…

Mushroom, near Fernald Brook Pond #2, Kennebunk Maine.

While doing landscape shots at the second of the small ponds in the Fernald Brook drainage along Route 9 in Kennebunk, Maine, I found this mushroom in the leaf litter. It made a good “ground level” shot, so I flipped out the LCD panel and got down low. The mixed lighting I find interesting. Sony RX10iv at 37mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/80th @ f3.2 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and TouchRetouch.

Turkey Beard…

Tom Turkey, Laudholm Farms, Wells Maine

I don’t know how I managed it, but I lived 70 years on planet Earth without noticing the beard on a Tom turkey. After seeing it my recent photos of a rafter (group) of Toms at Laudholm Farms in nearby Wells Maine, I had to Google it to make sure it was a real thing. It is. All Toms (and small percentage of hens) grow chest beards…modified feathers similar in texture to a horse’s tail…from their chests. Some say you can tell the age of a Tom by the length of its beard, and that they reach 8-10 inches, so this Tom is indeed a mature male. (Hens’ beards, when they have them, are always shorter, a few inches at most.) One more strange thing about this very strange bird. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 250. Processed in Polarr.

Toms of Maine

Tom Turkeys, Laudholm Farms, Wells Maine

When I found this rafter (flock) of Wild Turkeys across from the Trust building at Laudholm Farms, I assumed they were all hens, as I have never seen a large group of anything but hens in Maine. However, looking at the photos this morning for this post I realized that they were, in fact, all males, mostly mature Toms, and a few young Toms, or Jakes among them. I would not have believed that there were this many Toms in all of York County, let along all together in one field at Laudholm Farms. If there are this many Toms (there were 20 or more in the rafter), then that must mean that there are literally hundreds of hens somewhere in the woods around us. That is a good thing I think. In the photo above there are three birds. Note the one looking over the back of the bird in the foreground. Such a look! 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 250. Processed in Polarr. The title, of course, is a play on the name of a famous toothpaste and deodorant company founded right here in Kennebunk Maine.

Slaty Skimmer

Slaty Skimmer, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains WMA, Maine

It was a good day for Slaty Skimmers on my last visit to Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area in southern Maine this week. They were by far the most numerous Odonata. This panel shows three poses, and three different individuals. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with Program Shift for greater depth of field. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.

Three Pennants

Calico Pennant, male and female, Martha’s Pennant, Halloween Pennant

I went out to Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area in West Kennebunk, Maine the other day, looking mostly for dragonflies and damselflies. Best day yet this summer. Lots of Slaty Skimmers and a few Spangled Skimmers, a Widow Skimmer, Blue Dashers and Eastern Pondhawks, and 3 different Pennants. Both male and female Calico Pennant, my first females of the season, the males by the pond and the female well out in the dryer area of the plains, a lone Martha’s Pennant out over the pond, and a female Halloween Pennant hunting with the female Calico. In the panel they are Calico Male, Calico Female, Martha’s, and Halloween. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.

Survivor…

Very worn Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Kennebunk Plains WMA, Maine

I find it somewhat amazing that this very worn, perhaps injured, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is still on the wing and busy in the Dogbane. It looks like it may have survived a bird attack…or at least a long rough life among the plants on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area here in Southern Maine. It was still very busy gathering nectar from the last flowers of the Dogbane. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher, SMHC drainage ponds, Kennebunk Maine

The little Blue Dasher is one of the most attractive of dragonflies, and one of the most common in summer here in Southern Maine. This year in particular it seems to dominate the drainage ponds at the Southern Maine Health Care campus here in Kennebunk. I am not sure there are more Blue Dashers…perhaps just fewer of other species. And, of course, the other thing about Blue Dashers is that they pose for pictures so nicely…unlike many of the other species flying right now. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. -3EV. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr.

Snowies in the fog…

Snowy Egrets, Laudholm Farms, Wells Maine

On my photoprowl the other day around the outer loop of trails at Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve) by the time I got to the deck overlooking the Little River Marsh the fog was coming in. I almost missed these 4 Snowy Egrets on the drift wood snag out at the edge of the fog. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. 1/1000th @ f5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.