Posts in Category: Kennebunk Plains

Ducks in a row…

Mallard, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I was out at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains looking for dragonflies yesterday and came across this family of Mallards out for a stroll…or swim, perhaps is better…but that does not catch the “feel” of it as well as stroll. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Stream Cruiser

Stream Cruiser, Cold Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I am thinking the north side of the Kennebunk Plains is still under State management, as the signs have not been replaced, but the big yellow gates are up there too, limiting access to Cold Brook Pond at the back of the plains as it slopes off to the Mousam River. I did make out there on my last odes trip to the plains, and found many Stream Cruisers patrolling the path as though were a stream. Males this time, and perhaps a few females that did not perch for me. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I noticed something I had never seen before. The club on the end of the abdomen was “breathing”, visibly swelling and contracting in a regular rhythm. ??

Racket-tailed Emerald

Racket-tailed Emerald, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have now seen both male and female Racket-tailed Emeralds and an American Emerald in the same little cove on Day Brook Pond. I am talking a small area here, maybe 12 by 12 feet, six feet out over the water, and six feet back from the shore among the sheep’s laurel and ferns. I don’t know enough about Emerald behavior to know if that is unusual or not…but impresses me. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Disputed territory. Dragonflies

Dot-tailed Whiteface and Eastern Pondhawk, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — These two were actually having a dispute about who owned this sunny piece of driftwood. They drove each other off repeatedly as I watched, even though there was plenty of room for them both. 🙂 The Eastern Pondhawk (male) is another of my favorite dragonflies…I know it is beginning to look like all the dragonflies are my favorites…but I really like the blues and greens on this dragon. The fact that it often perches nicely for photos does not hurt either. Sony Rx10iv at 494mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications…but I overrode the settings using Program Shift for greater depth of field to ensure both dragons were in focus. ISO 100 @ f14 @ 1/100th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Spangled Skimmer, another FOY

Spangled Skimmer, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another of my favorite dragonflies…the Spangled Skimmer is not so striking perched, kind of plain in fact, but in flight with those white spots flashing the sun, it is a wonderful thing to watch! I am always happy to find my first of the year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Calico Pennant

Calico Pennant, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. — One of my favorite dragonflies. Comes early, stays late…and is beautiful in all summer. This is my first of year Calico for 2020. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. And still…it should be called the Valentine Pennant!

American Emerald

American Emerald dragonfly, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I am pretty sure this is an American Emerald. If so, it would be a first for me. I saw a Racket-tailed Emerald over the water very near where I took this photo a week before…Racket-tail is an early Dragonfly in Maine, and has an obvious “racket” at the end of the abdomen…but this one looks more like an American. Of course there are a couple of striped Emeralds it could be here in Maine, but, like I say, it is most likely an American. I still have a lot to learn about dragonflies. 🙂 I do enjoy photographing them though. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

An abundance of Lady Slippers

You will want to view this as large as your device allows. 🙂 There is a poem:

6/5
I met a man out on one of my rambles
today who told me that if I just went
on out past the pond (where I seldom
go), and looked along on the left there,
down into the woods, I would find a
big patch of Lady Slipper Orchids.
“Has to be a hundred of them,” he said.
I took it as your typical Maine exaggeration,
but as I had nothing more pressing to
accomplish than checking on the
progress of early dragon and damselflies
around the pond, I thought, “why not”
and headed out there. It was further out
than I thought, but when I found the place
it was unmistakable. Not a hundred…
more like five hundred, Lady Slippers,
maybe even a thousand (and that is no
Maine exaggeration), though they were hard
to count among the trees and scattered
over a long thin rectangle of open woods,
maybe three hundred by a hundred feet,
as the slope slopes off down to the
brook among the big trees. I have never
seen anything to match it, Lady Slipper
wise. Some of the clumps were a dozen
blossoms or more, and some of the plants
were eighteen inches tall…big healthy
looking flowers, rich rose pink, delicately
veined, even in the half light of a cloudy
day under the canopy of tall maples, pines
and oaks. I took a lot of photos, of clumps
and individual blossoms, and of patches
were I could find a line of sight, but it was
impossible to capture even a little bit
of the impression of so may Lady Slippers,
so tall, so pink, all in such a small piece
of woods. Only on the way back did I
think of video. I could have maybe caught
it better with some pans and zooms over
a few moments as I moved about. Ah well.
The light was not great anyway. Gives me
a reason to go back out there the next
sunny day if we have one soon. I feel a bit
ashamed now of wining about not being
able to get into Rachel Carson for my Lady
Slipper fix…who knew the creator had such
a splendor of Lady Slippers up that sleeve?
And I will be forever grateful to the unknown
man who took the time to tell me to keep
walking and keep looking left and down.

And I did go back for the video, which came out okay, though I am not sure it catches any more of the impression of all those Lady Slippers. 🙂

Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent (video at about 80mm equivalent).

I am generally more specific with the location of my photos (and poems), but I have gone back and edited out all location info in this post and the poem. Not far from this patch there used to be patch growing the shade of a large pine on the edge of the pond, an unusual place to find them growing. This year, sometime in the past week, someone dug out every one of those plants, and left the empty holes. Lady Slippers are listed as a plant of “special concern” in Maine, grow very slowly and should not be dug up for transplant. In addition, they live in a symbiotic relationship with a fungus in a very particular type of soil, so chances of successful transplanting are very slim. Please. Leave them be!

A tale of two frogs…

I went out to Day Brook Pond on what was the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area. Management of the area has apparently been reclaimed by the Nature Conservancy, who owns the land, and had a agreement with the State of Maine to mange it. All the signage has changed this spring, and they have put up new yellow gates to control vehicle access. The pond is still the same though. Rich in odonata, water snakes, turtles, birds, and frogs. This Northern Pickerel Frog was sitting quietly on the edge, only a foot or so from a mottled greenish frog that I took for a small Bull Frog, just the same size as the Pickerel. However, researching it this morning, I am thinking it might, in fact, be a Green Frog, also common in warmer waters (like the edge of Day Brook Pond) in Maine. You can just see the straight ridge behind the eye on the left side. If so, I assume I have seen hundreds of Green Frogs in Maine, and simply mis-identified them as small Bull Frogs all along. Now that I know the differences to look for, I will be looking more closely at any small green frogs I find. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Delicate Spring

A few days of warmer weather and the leaves have leaped out…these images are from a week ago, when spring was still in a more delicate stage, and one of its most beautiful. I need to post them before even the memory slips away. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. All what I call “telephoto macros”. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications (which I also use for macro shots). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.