Eastern Pondhawk: SMMC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — I have been watching out for these. The Eastern Pondhawk is one of my favorite dragonflies. I like the subtle shades of blue and green, blending into each other, and I like the fact that it sits on sunny rocks for its portrait. 🙂 This is a male. The females remain mostly all green with brown stripes on the abdomen while the males develop this prunosity that renders the abdomen increasingly blue. They are active, agile hunters, but they like to sit and sun themselves as well. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
American Lady Butterfly: SMMC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — It seems to me that there are fewer butterflies this summer than last…I have seen only a few Swallowtails, and this is, so far, the only Lady I have seen. Maybe I am just not getting out enough. 🙂 I have to look up how to tell a Painted Lady from an American Lady every year. We have both in Maine, as is true of most of the US. The two large eye-spots on the underside of the wings are the tell for American Lady. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.
Wild Turkey: Gravely Brook Road, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA, June 2022 — As I passed on my eTrike the other day, out towards Emmon’s Preserve on Gravely Brook Road in Kennebunkport, a few hen turkeys and their nursery skittered out of the ditch and headed out into a field of mixed weeds and hay. I got off the trike and got my camera out, but the poults had disappeared into the taller vegetation. I watched the hens as they wandered out into the field, and eventually this one poult stuck its head up high enough for me to see. There were at least half a dozen of them in there, but I could not see them. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.
Red-bellied Woodpecker: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — It used to be that we would get a Red-bellied Woodpecker in our yard once every few years…then, beginning maybe three years ago, a few times a summer…and now a few times a week all summer…getting on towards daily. I found an article from 2021 on the Maine Audubon site that details the range expansion of the Red-bellied Woodpecker in Maine, that started in 2004, and has gained momentum year by year since. It is very likely that this woodpecker is nesting in our neighborhood. We used to only see it on the suet…but it is now taking mealworms from the mealworm feeder we keep full for our nesting Bluebirds and their young. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Taken through a double glazed deck door. 🙂
Just some pretty flowers from our yard for Sunday morning. 🙂 We don’t have a super abundance of flowers but we do have a good variety. iPhone SE on auto with smart HDR. Processed in Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic.
It was a day for Skimmers, or perhaps the season for Skimmers has come, at the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk, Maine the other day. Four-spotted, Widow, and Twelve-spotted were all active. Multiple 4 and 12-spots, but only the single 4-spot. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos, and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100-200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Eastern Towhee: Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Sorry, this will always be the Rufous-sided Towhee to me, counter-part to the Spotted Towhee of the west. It must have actually been the Eastern Towhee when I started birding, but I started in New Mexico, and my books were probably not the latest editions, so I learned it, on my first birding trips east, as Rufous-sided. By the time I actually moved east, it was fixed in my mind. I have to look it up when I see one, because I do remember that I know the wrong name. I just don’t immediately remember the right one. Strange brain. Anyway, there are, some years, quite a few Eastern Towhees out by the pond on the Kennebunk Plains Preserve…and this is a good year for them. Their songs echo along the whole long pond edge, so there are at least a couple of pairs, and I had both the male and female of this pair in view at the same time. Such a handsome bird! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th.
Stoat: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Sad story warning! I am pretty sure this is a Stoat, or Short-Tailed Weasel, often called an Ermine in the winter when its coat, with the exception of the black tip of the tail, turns bright white. The only other possibility is the Long-tailed Weasel, which we also have in Maine. I think the white feet, just visible at the front, and the length of the tail make this a Stoat. I will admit, until yesterday I did not know we had Stoats in Maine. This one, as you can see, was sitting exactly in the middle of the road, just a few houses down from us, when I was leaving on my eTirke for a grocery run. I quickly circled back and around to see what it was. I was thinking weasel, or mink, or maybe a young fisher. I was sure it would be gone from the road by the time I got my camera out, but it stayed there, alert but apparently in no hurry to get off the yellow line. It even sat there, unmoving, as a truck and several cars came by, missing it by inches. When I showed my photo to Google Lens, the intelligence in the cloud suggested Stoat, so of course, I had to do more research, and discovered that they are quite common in Maine, even here along the coast. My only other Stoat encounter was in the pages of Kenneth Grahame’s “Wind in the Willows”, where, if you remember, the Stoats and Weasels are cast as the bad guys. As you might imagine, this real-life story did not end well for the Stoat in the middle of the road. Eventually a driver jigged when he or she probably intended to jag, the Stoat panicked and moved off the yellow line, and went under the wheel. With a good deal of sadness (and not a little guilt about what I might have done differently to save the Stoat), I moved it off the road, but it was too late. Later, after discovering it had been a Stoat, in memory of the Stoats of Wild Wood in “The Wind in the Willows”, I took a shovel out and buried it in our own wild wood across the street. While I am sure Stoats are ruthless hunters, and I would not want one in my hen run (if I had a hen run), they are beautiful little creatures, and this one certainly deserved better. And let this be a lesson to all Stoats. Cars do, on occasion, cross the yellow line!
Calico Pennant Dragonfly: Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Calico Pennants are not rare dragonflies in southern Maine. They are pretty common in fact, and they are with us pretty much all summer, but I am always happy to see the first emerging in early June…maybe a bit late this year. I found a few yesterday along the pond edge on the Kennebunk Plains. Their habit of perching on the very tip of vegetation, generally between 6 inches and a foot off the ground, where they swing in the wind like a flag, makes them excellent photographic subjects. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.
Green Darner Dragonfly: SMMC drainage ponds, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Dragonfly activity at the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center has been low this month until yesterday, when suddenly the air above the ponds is alive with dragons of several different species. Green Darners, the largest of the North American dragonflies, have been back in the area at least since early May, in small numbers, around most ponds. During daylight, Darners are pretty much in constant flight…and they are fast!…so they are particularly difficult to photograph, unless they are mating or ovipositing as they are here. The female is injecting an egg into the waterlogged reed stem below waterline. It will go through up to 13 different morphs, getting larger each time, until it crawls out of the water to emerge as a flying dragon. Since these are mating in June already, they are most likely migrant darners. The nymphs will finish their cycle and emerge in late August or September and head south…where they will mate during the winter, and the next generation will move back north in early spring. The Green Darners we see mating here in southern Maine in July and August are resident darners. They will remain in nymph form for a full year, to emerge in July or August next year. Odd, yes, but it seems to work for the darners. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Minus .3EV exposure compensation.