Little Green Metallic Bee on Owl Clover

The Green Metallic Bee clan is among my favorite set of insects. They are mostly tiny. If you know Owl Clover you know that the blossoms are themselves quite small, so you can get a sense of just how small the bee is. I am always delighted to find one. I only found my first one a few years ago, quite by chance, right in our front yard working the flowers. I never “expect” to see them, and certainly did not expect one when I bent down to photograph the Owl Clover. I did a brief search, by the way, on why Owl Clover is called Owl Clover. The consensus seems to be that no one knows. ? Some say the flower heads might look like little owls with the individual blossoms making “owl ears”…but no one seems to be particularly convinced by that solution…and I certainly am not. It shall remain a mystery. Of course there is no doubt about why the Green Metallic Bee is called the Green Metallic Bee. 🙂 Like the Owl Clover, there are many species of Green Metallic Bee…not all of them tiny. I won’t even attempt to hazard a guess as to which one this is, though I am pretty sure it is the only species I have ever seen here in Southern Maine. Sony Rx10iv at about 90mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Grass Pink Orchids

Grass Pink Orchids come in many different shades and there is even a rare White Grass Pink Orchid, which is its own species. The last flower in this series might be one…but it could be just a unusually pale Grass Pink. It certainly stood out among all the pinker Grass Pinks in the tiny remnant bog at Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve), in Wells, Maine. The boardwalk through the bog is my go-to place for at least two bog orchids…the Grass Pink and the Rose Pogonia …though it was apparently too dry this spring for the Pagonias. Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths from 600mm to about 80mm using Sony’s full time macro. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications (which I also use for macro). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Hey Bobolink!

Bobolink, Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve), Wells, Maine, USA — It is that time of year again. The Bobolinks at Laudholm Farms are nesting, and males are defending territory. This male has an established territory right next to one of the trails and the folks at Laudholm have staked it off. He finds the stakes make great perched for his territorial display. I find that they make great spots for him to pose for his photo. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Jack-in-the-pulpit

The parking lot and trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge here in Southern Maine has been closed until just this past weekend, so I have not been able to check on this year’s crop of Jack-in-the-pulpits near the bike rack were they have been growing for several years. Now that the parking lot is open, I stopped by on my eBike to see what was up. I suspect the first plants were transplanted as part of a “wild garden” concept, which has since gone completely wild. The Jacks that grow there are the largest I have ever seen…way larger than I could have ever imagined Jack-in-the-pulpits could get. The oldest plants are over 3 feet tall with many pulpits…and some of the pulpits themselves are 6 inches in length. The leaves can be a foot long. These are really big plants. And they are spreading. There are now two smaller plants along side the bike rack that were definitely not there last year. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths (the Sony has full time macro focus). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

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.

Fledgling Purple Finch

Purple Finch, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have featured this young male Purple Finch before in a more active pose, but he deserves a portrait shot. 🙂 Such a subtle beauty. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Woodchuck

There is a poem that goes with this:

6/24
My wife surprised a woodchuck standing
by our steps out front (a first for our yard
in our 25 years here) ...or he surprised her...
big and grizzled over brown, with those
ever-growing buck teeth hanging out. He
scampered under our front steps. Then
when she went back out to try to find
him, he was standing on the bottom step
of our back stairs, bold as nobody’s
business. By the time I got the camera
and snuck around the house, he was
standing right there at the corner and
disappeared back around. I crept to see
if he had stayed, and there he was, standing
by the porch, surveying the yard as though
it were his domaine. Makes us wonder if
it is he who has been eating the marigolds,
and what else he might take a fancy to
as the garden grows. We are not running
a woodchuck restaurant here. It is not that
he is not welcome, but I am not sure how
good a neighbor he intends to be. I don’t
envision a big hole in front garden being
a welcome addition to the yard. Time
might tell. Of course he might have just
been passing through (unaware that the
governor has mandated a fourteen
day quarantine for tourists in this time
of coronavirus). Whatever. I think it is
okay to be be concerned when Wood-
chucks show up in the neighborhood,
and not for the marigolds alone.

Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Chipper at the fountain

The water feature I put in for my backyard photo blind has been a mixed success. I would have to keep it running all the time I think, for the birds and other critters to get used to it and figure it out more than they have. The Chipmunks were actually the first to learn to use it, and this youngster is supremely confident now. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Froggy went a courting…

American Bull Frogs, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The drainage pond at our local hospital health center is full of huge Bull Frogs, among the biggest I have ever seen, and certainly the biggest collection of big frogs that I have come across. Here we have both a male and a female. For some reason I see far fewer females than males…or perhaps it is just that I am noticing the difference more often. 🙂 I would not make a good Bull Frog. 🙁 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Beach Rose Pond

This little pond is right on Route 9 between Brown Street and the Kennebunk/Wells town line. The beauty of this view stopped me on my eBike as I rode by yesterday. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. HDR mode. I used Program Shift to select a small aperture for increased depth of field and selective focus on the roses. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.