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July 2007

Damselflies and a surprise guest



[Sorry for the late post today -- had an early assignment. --JW]


   I didn't set out to photograph damselflies the other day, but I was walking in the Celery Farm, camera in hand, and what should appear but this handsome damselfly, which posed long enough for me to take its picture.

    No sooner did I finish than the another, equally beautiful damselfly flew into view. Sure enough, it posed for a minute so that I could take its picture.Damselfly_1 (read on)


    I asked a dragonfly-expert friend to ID them, and she said that the first one is a male ebony jewelwing, and the second one is the female.

   (I didn't think it was a coincidence that I encountered the two so close together.)

    That was in the morning, and I soon went home and put my camera away.

   That afternoon, I walked into the living room, realized that I had left a window open (to photograph Mrs. Squirrel), and went downstairs.

   A few minutes later I returned and picked up a cardboard box I had left on the table by the window.

   I heard a loud buzzing sound.

   I jumped an inch or two, and figured a cicada or something had flown in.

   As it turned out, the "something" was an Eastern pondhawk dragonfly, and -- you guessed it -- it paused long enough for me to photograph it.

   It soon flew out the window, and I just shook my head at my incredible luck -- beginning with my incredible luck to live next door to the Celery Farm.Pond_hawk

   Patty and I always say we have the niftiest guests drop in to see us.


Green party



     On a walk in the Celery Farm on Sunday morning, I saw a green frog and a green heron within a few seconds of each other.Green_heron_cf

     There also were mushrooms of all sorts, and a little drama involving a huge snapping turtle and a little wood duck near the Pirie Platform.

   The young duck emerged unscathed -- for now at least.



Coyote photo

  I have never seen a coyote at the Celery Farm, but a neighbor who lives in Rio Vista (off Allendale Avenue) took a shot of one outside his place near the Celery farm.

  The photo was taken in January 2006 but fascinating nonetheless.

  Earlier today I posted an item about the deer at the Celery Farm, and about how neat it was to have mammals that large in suburbia.

   Having coyotes nearby is in many ways even neater -- and they sure add another dimension to the food chain.

   Take a look:

Deer me -- w/reposted video



  I saw this young guy and his family drinking water near the Warden's Watch the other morning.

   From what I hear, they are living near the Holly Grove.

   I am not a big fan of deer, because they eat native plants, allowing  the invasives to spread even more.

   And they create major headaches when they collide with cars  -- through no fault of theirs or the driver's.

   But I do marvel that animals this big can still thrive in the middle of a suburbanized county.

    Here's a quick movie for deer junkies  (e-mail me if you have trouble opening it):

Download MVIb_2510

First shot of squirrel babies w/video


    This is the first photo of the squirrel babies.

   The image is less than a fourth of the entire box size, so these guys are probably smaller than what you see here.

     They are hairless and apparently blind, and will remain so for a month, or so I have read.

   Hopefully, they'll look better as they get older.

     How many are there? Too soon to tell, but I think four or five.  Since we had four screech owl babies in the spring (119 days ago they were born), I think it would be nice to have another fabulous foursome.

     I took a short movie of the little squirks.

    Hope you can view it.

    Download MVIa_2670.avi