American Lady Butterfly: Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It is short aster season on the Kennebunk Plains here in Southern Maine, with at least 3 species of small asters in bloom, and large areas heavily carpeted. I found several fairly fresh looking American Ladies working a stand in the sun. They did not want to sit still for photography but I did my best. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th, 1/1000th, 1/640th, and 1/800th.
I seem to be photographing a lot of bees this month, both around home, and during our visit to New Mexico. Maybe August is the month of the bee? There are certainly a lot of bees in the Blazing Star boom on the Kennebunk Plains. Mostly Bumble Bees like this one…which is, I am thinking, the Common Eastern Bumble Bee (though there are several others it might be). This shot catches the business end of the bee…ready to prob deeply into the Blazing Star for pollen, and you can see by the pollen sacks on the legs that this bee has already been busy. Bumble Bees to occasionally sting (mostly when trapped or squashed), and I certainly would not want to be on the receiving end of that stinger. This is a shot from the Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Cropped and processed as usual in Polarr and then opened in Pixelmator Pro for enlargement using the Machine Learning Maximum Resolution tool, and recropped to fill the frame, for what amounts to a super-telephoto macro. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.
Wood Lilies: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I was surprised to find a few Wood Lilies still in bloom, right along the edge of the forest at the end of Day Brook Pond where it is pretty much always in the shade. They were tall too! Nikon B700 macro focus mode at 120mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/640th.
Green Darner: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Two more shots of the Green Darner pair that I found at the Southern Maine Health Care drainage ponds here in Kennebunk. They were very busy ovipositing on a floating reed, and I was able to extend the zoom on my Nikon B700 to the full reach of its enhanced digital zoom at 2880mm equivalent, for these telephoto macro shots of the two heads. Shutter preferred program mode at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Green Darner: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I go years between photos of a Green Darner…they just about never perch while I am around…but this is my second one for this year. I found a male settled out on the shore at the Sanford Lagoons last month, and this mating and ovipositing pair at the Southern Maine Medical Center drainage ponds this past weekend. There was a little window through the foreground reeds that opened and closed with the breeze. Nikon B700 at 917mm equivalent (they were close enough to overfill the frame at full zoom). Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
White- or Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — Meadowhawk season is coming on here in Southern Maine. This is what might best be called a “light-faced meadowhawk”…in Maine it is most likely a White-faced or a Cherry-faced, but it could also be a Ruby Meadowhawk. Authorities say only microscopic examination of the reproductive parts can reliably distinguish these species…and there is some debate as to whether they are indeed separate species. DNA work is inconclusive at best…with the variations being very small and annoyingly inconsistent. Whatever. As a “light-faced meadowhawk” it is a striking creature. I expect to see increasing numbers of them from now right into autumn. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Wood Lily: Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — A few more Wood Lilies before the season is over. Again, from the Kennebunk Plains. I did not find any deep red ones yet this year, but this gives a little bit of a sense of the variations on the theme. Nikon B700 at various focal lengths to fill the frame. 3 Macro and one telephoto macro. Shutter program with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Wood Lily, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I went out to the Kennebunk Plains planning to hike into Cold Brook Pond on the back side of the plains were the land falls away to the Mousam River. Cold Brook Pond is old earth dam, long ago broken, and now maintained only by a family of beavers, so the level varies year to year depending on how active the beavers have been. It can be a good spot for dragonflies that I do not normally see at Day Brook pond on the other side of the plains. Not yesterday. Evidently our cold/wet snap has suppressed the dragonfly flight for the moment, at both ponds. There were, however Wood Lilies on the plain. I was surprised. This is at least a week early for the Wood Lily bloom, and, in fact, it looks like I almost missed it. Many of the flowers were gone by their best and some were dropping petals…but that could have to do with three days of cold rain as well. And perhaps what I am seeing is a “forced” bloom brought on by the 4 days mid-90s weather we had just before the cold snap. ?? Maybe the full boom is still to come in the next weeks. At any rate, I am always delighted to rediscover the Wood Lilys. I know of only a few reliable spots for them, and the Kennebunk Plains has the largest and most accessible concentration. They come in every shade of orange…from pale to almost red…and the amount of yellow at the center also varies. The boom is brief but big and bright! Nikon B700 at about 200mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Common Green Darner: Sanford Lagoons, Sanford, Maine, USA — Not a great photo as I was at a fair distance and shooting through obstructive foreground plants, but, in my experience, a rare photo. I never…well, almost never…see Common Green Darner perched. They seem to be in perpetual flight, at least during daylight hours. I have a few shots of Green Darner mating wheels, and one of a Green Darner female ovipositing…but this might be only individual I have seen just settled out and resting in many years of looking. And, of course, when I tried to work my way down the bank for a less obstructed view, it was off instantly. Even in flight the Common Green Darner is hard to miss. It is not the largest Dragonfly in North America…the Giant Darner of the Southwest is bigger…but it is certainly the largest we have here in the Northeast, and that green body and bright blue abdomen stand out in almost any light. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Grass Pink Orchid: Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — The Tuberous Grass Pink Orchid is, according to my bit of morning research, among the most wide spread of its genus…occurring in both wet bogs and moist prairies across most of south east Canada and the north eastern US. I found these in the tiny remnant bog that is preserved at the Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms here in Wells. Both Grass Pink and Rose Pagonia grow there…though the Rose Pagonia seems to be fewer and fewer year to year. The Grass Pink is doing well…and there are many blooms this season. It is a beautiful flower…only about 2 inches across, but growing in clusters on single stems above the moss. As you see, the orchid hangs “upside down” due to the twist in the stem. Nikon B700, telephoto macro at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.