Calico Pennant: Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I find that I have to remind myself that, after the first dozen or so, I do not have to photograph every Calico Pennant I see…not even every male or every female Calico Pennant. There is such a thing as enough all ready with the Calico Pennants. Out at Day Brook Pond, a particularly health little “improved” beaver pone on the Kennebunk Plains, they are certainly abundant every year at this time, and will be present in smaller numbers all summer and into early fall…though I think they might be at their biggest and most robust right now. It seems to me that the later in the season, the smaller and less intense the Calico Pennants, but that may be a trick of my imagination. What we have here are one female and two male Calicos. One male is in classic Pennant pose, and the other is sun posting (obelisking) on what was our second day over 90 degrees in June so far. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Painted Skimmer: Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It was a skimmer kind of day, or perhaps just skimmer season, at the little brackish pools in the marsh along the lower Mousam River here in Kennebunk yesterday. I had Twelve-spotted, Four-spotted, and Painted Skimmers from the same spot along the Bridle Path. The nice thing about skimmers, from a photographer’s point of view, is that they occasionally perch long enough for a shot…the hard thing about skimmers is that they generally perch on the top of a tall thin stalk waving in the wind. These shots are at 1440mm equivalent with the Nikon B700. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
The lupine stands, of course, attract large numbers of bees and other pollen feeding insects. This large bee was among hundreds working the patch. You can see by the swollen pollen sacks on the hind legs that life is good for the bees among the lupines. And, of course, the bees are doing their part to ensure another crop of lupines in this meadow next year. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. Vivid Picture Control. Low Active-D Lighting. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Drasteria moth (probably Shadowy Arches): Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Maine, USA — I found this little moth fluttering close to the ground along the foot trail at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area the other day. Some research this morning gets me as far as one of the Drasteria moths, possibly a Shadowy Arches, but I don’t know my moths well enough, or their ranges, to eliminate any of the other Drasterias. I think the Graphic Moth might be more common in Maine, but this one seems to have too much orange. 🙂 If anyone knows better, please leave a comment. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from about 4 feet. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.
Chalk-fronted Corporal: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Chalk-fronted Corporal is among the first dragonflies to take wing in any number in Southern Maine. Day Brook Pond had its share yesterday already. Nikon B700 at 1100-1440mm equivalent. Program mode. -.3EV. The white pruinosity (the chalk-like coating on the throax) really sets off the hydraulics at the base of the wing. All those tiny pumps allow the dragonfly to move and shape each wing, and each segment of wing, independently…giving them an amazing agility in flight.
White Wood Aster, Kennebunk Barrens Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — September in southern Maine is certainly the season for Asters. There are at least 6 different Aster species in bloom right now…and they are all over, in every kind of habitat. These are, I am pretty sure, White Wood Asters from the Kennebunk Plains, and what looks to be a Honey Bee. You can see that the Bee is harvesting pollen and is already heavy laden just by looking at those bright yellow leggings. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Apple Photos.
Northern Blazing Star, Kennebunk Barrons Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine — Though the Blazing Star crop this year is not what I expected after a controlled burn, there are clearly enough blossoms to attract a wide variety of pollinators. Many different insects are attracted to this endangered plant, which is good, as it gives the plant its best chance at survival within its highly restricted range. It’s a good deal for the insects as well. 🙂 Left to right and down, Cabbage White butterfly, Clouded Sulphur butterfly, Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee (sp?), Green Metallic Sweat Bee (sp?), Leonard’s (?) Skipper, and Monarch butterfly. I am sure if I had spent more time there I could have found others as well. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This is, according to iNaturalist’s iSeek, another Bee Fly, the second species I have found on the Kennebunk Plains. The Bee Flies are not called “bee flies” because they look like bees…though they do a bit…but because they are bee parasites, laying their eggs in ground bee nests where the larva eat, first the food the bees have stored, and then the bee larva when they hatch. Unsavory 🙂 Still it is an interesting creature. This one is quite a bit bigger than the white-furred one I found previously, and has more patten on the wings. There are many species of Bee Flies, and iSeek and its AI engine could come no closer. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Eastern Pondhawk, Wells, Maine, USA — I suppose one of the reasons I like Eastern Pondhawks is that they perch so nicely for photos. 🙂 But I do like the colors, and the name. Okay, so what is not to like about the Eastern Pondhawk. You get my point? This was taken at small drainage pond on the grounds of a senior citizen housing complex (really upscale semi-attached condos) just behind Route 1 south of Kennebunk and north of Wells. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
There are two things of interest in this photo. Of course, the Northern Blazing Star…an endangered plant that grows abundantly on the Kennebunk Plains. This is a very early flower…the massed bloom will not happen until mid August…but there are generally a few plants in favored spots on the plains that bloom early. It is one of my favorite flowers and I wait patiently for it each year. The Nature Conservancy did a prescribed burn on the Day Brook side of the plains last September, and, as Blazing Star is “fire dependent”, I expect a really good bloom this year. The signs are shaping up. There are abundant plants and a few early bloomers. Should be good. The other thing of interest is the bug. It is, I was able to determine after some internet searches and a couple of AI powered identification apps, one of the Bee Flys…all of which have that long proboscis for drilling down for nectar. They are Bee Flies not only because they somewhat resemble bees, but because they are bee predators…bee parasites…laying their eggs in active ground bee nests, one egg per nest, where they hatch and the larva eats both the bee’s stored food and the bee larva themselves. The things you can learn on the internet! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.