Tuesday, May 19, 2009

White Milkweed and daily odes

White Milkweed, Asclepias variegata is common along our road and usually when it blooms one can find their first Great Spangled Fritillary of the season on or near it, no luck yesterday. It seems that the White Milkweed on the early sun side of the road is doing terrible because of our cold and wet weather and due to the fact that the highway mowing crew timed poorly and the trees are chest high where the milkweed is. I did see fresh American Ladies and Summer Azures on it.

The weather here has been chilly (64 degrees) and windy not the best for finding butterflies yet I did OK yesterday on my 1.5 hour walk up the road.

My friends Jeff and Will were over on Saturday night Jeff remarked that he'd never seen an Azure Bluet before. Well my yard is the only location in the state of North Carolina I have seen the species before. I have found it in KY and PA on DSA trips.

Both these Azure Bluets, Enallagma aspersum were found where Jeff parked his car on Saturday. The above photo is the female which was very hard to get to sit still for a photo. The lower photo is the male Azure Bluet. In all yesterday I saw 7 of them.

Below is a Common Green Darner with its exuvia freshly emerged in our pond with a waterlily behind it! Normally these guys emerge after 10PM and can fly by midnight. Guess the cool damp days have changed that as we also saw one emerging Saturday afternoon in the pond.

Below is my first of the year female Slaty Skimmer. I've been told by dragonfly collectors that this bug has the worst bite of any dragonfly they have ever handled. I've never had any bite me and I have handled a few of them. Last week I touched my nose to a Common Whitetail on our porch railing!

This photo below is a teneral male Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis. The males start out green like the females then with age the males turn blue

12 comments:

mlc said...

Those are wonderful dragonfly and damselfy photos. I spent one summer collecting and hunting them. What fun. Nice post about milkweed. It must be a valuable source of nectar to many species of insects.

sweet bay said...

I have got to get a hold of some of that Variegated Milkweed. It's beautiful.

Great damselfly and dragonfly photos!

tina said...

Quite beautiful. I really like the dragonflies-all of them. I'm hoping they do away with the mosquitos-all of them too!

Helen said...

Wonderful creatures, and great shots of them, too. I'm a big fan of milkweed (we just have the common one up here) and always keep at least one stalk if it plants itself, even though it's classed as a noxious weed in Ontario. The Monarchs love it. Bees like it, too.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Wonderful photos!

wiseacre said...

You've primed my pump.
I can't wait till the aliens show up around here. I did see one dragonfly the other day but couldn't get closer than 10 ft. to it. I must have added a 1/4 mile to my daily walk stalking the thing.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I am always so impressed by your patience! Your photography is really outstanding. I have never seen more than a couple of types of dragonflies, let alone the amount you seem to encounter! I remember my mother grew milkweed and it was around the area in various places while I was young; I just don't seem to see it around this area. I've looked for it, too. I need to keep my eye opened for it because I'm sure it's around here somewhere! The butterflies really would love it, I know!!

Q said...

Thank you so much for posting so much information on the Damsel and Dragonflies. I have seen a few this spring but not many. It has been cool and wet here too.
Your photographs are wonderful.
Sherry

Ginger said...

Beautiful photography of the dragonflies!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Beautifu photos! And the blue of the damselflies is lovely!

Cheryl said...

Fabulous photos of damsels and dragons....they are wonderful to see close up....

I have had a red damsel in my garden and I noticed a white the other day, so the season is just beginning here.....

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.