Song Sparrow, Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — I went out to Emmon’s Preserve yesterday looking for dragonflies and whatever else I might see…and found numbers of Song Sparrows around the edge of the big meadow behind the Land Trust building. This one was particularly perky and posed nicely for me. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Over the years we have a had a lot of Day Lilies in our yard and this year’s blooms are especially nice. Let’s take a moment to celebrate them. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 500mm and 90mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
When the flower head of Northern Blazing Star is fully open it is difficult to see the structure of the actual flowers. This head is just open enough to see individual blossoms. Northern Blazing Star, as I remind you every year at this time, is a plant with a very limited and rapidly shrinking range. Here in Maine, it is mostly found on the Kennebunk Plains, a remnant sand plain kept open by wildfire in the past, and now maintained by the Nature Conservancy. It is often called “the Blueberry Plains” because of the wild blueberries that grow there. They did a prescribed burn of the section where I go most often last September, and the Blazing Star, which is fire dependent, is coming back strong this year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Out at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Barrens Nature Conservancy (what used to be the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area), we always have an abundance of Calico Pennants, from early in the spring to late in the fall. Other Pennants come and go. Right now we have emerging Halloween Pennants (previously featured here) and on my last visit I found one Martha’s Pennant. The Martha’s Pennant I tend to think of as “that other Pennant.” It is not nearly as colorful as either the Calico or the Halloween. If not for its very Pennant like perch, I would have trouble identifying it…and I do actually, almost every year. It did not help that this one was hanging just at the far edge of the emergent vegetation in the pond, stretching the limits of my 600mm lens. 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.
Halloween Pennant, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Barrens Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. — This is the subject of yesterday’s Day Poem, in all its transient glory. This dragonfly is newly emerged…you can tell by the extra cellophane like gloss on the wings…and, of course, I saw it come in off the water and land on what had to be it’s first flight. The wings gain strength quickly and it only perched a few times, very briefly, before it was off somewhere inland. 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.
Almost all the native (or if not native, at least fully naturalized and gone wild) Day Lilies in our yard are “double flowered.” It is apparently a mutation that produces one flower inside another…similar to the “double roses” that are grown commercially. I don’t know if the Day Lilies were that way when planted, but they have been ever since we have lived here. Ours are also late blooming. The yard around us have lilies at least a week before we do every year. But that could just be our yard, and where it sits in relationship to the river and the road, and how much shade it gets. ?? Anyway, I wait patiently for our double Lilies every year, and enjoy them when they do bloom. Sony Rx10iv at 78mm equivalent, using Sony’s full time macro. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I was headed out on my bike with my camera when I saw this very tattered Swallowtail butterfly working the Day Lilies by our driveway. I managed a few shots before it was off into the trees across the road. It never really posed for me, but I like this shot for its color, composition, and for the dreamy quality. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This spring I ordered some wildflower seed packets, grubbed up some ground in the yard, and sowed them. They are just beginning to bloom. I am not sure what these flowers are, as it was a “New England Mix”. None are very big. The blue is the largest at under an inch, and the little pink one is really tiny at about a quarter of an inch. I am hoping to see more as the summer progresses and that at least some of them are perennials or self seeding. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications (which I also use for macro). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.