Sunday, July 26, 2009

Like Being In an Oven Today

Today I met my friend Roger at the Butner Gamelands at Brickhouse Rd. It was 9:30am and already very hot, perhaps like a brickhouse oven. The trail we walked along was almost without any shade we lasted an hour before we got back to the cars.

This is Fine-leaved Sneezeweed (Helenium amarum) it was all along the gravel roads we walked and certain places had lots of Common Checkered Skippers, Pyrgus communis, we saw at least 25 of these tiny little butterflies.

Above and below Common Checkered Skippers, Pyrgus communis

Below is a very mature male Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa perched over some rocks along the Little River.

Above is a female Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox found along the trail at Knap of the Reeds in Granville County the second place we visited today. Below is the male Swift Setwing we found at Brickhouse Rd. I don't recall ever finding a female of this species, so today was pretty lucky. On the photo below notice the reddish eyes I'd never noticed that before either.

Roger knows me well enough that when we are in North Carolina and a call him by saying: I've got a dragonfly over here and I don't know what it is! It must be something unusual, today sort of as I'd never seen a female Common Sanddragon, Progomphus obscurus before and this one was perching oddly for a sanddragon in the weeds. it took me about 20 seconds to realize that the yellowish-whitish cerci on S10 was the ID clincher. S10 means segment 10 the rear segment out of 10 abdomen segments.

Common Sanddragon, Progomphus obscurus female. She was very cooperative for photos as she let both of us take flash photos up close at the same time and when she flew up it was only to more a few inches. You sometimes get lucky to have a dragonfly pose like this, other times forget it.

A face only a mother could love don't you think?

Below is a Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus taked at Knap of the Reeds today. Our most commonly seen hairstreak in the southeastern US. Funny this year I have only seen a handful of them.

Pretty fun day except for the 90+ degree heat and 90% humidity.

Yesterday I mentioned the deer getting into the garden. Early today I chased off a 4 point buck and doe in the back yard. I came towards the porch to tell Meg and saw another doe on the road next to the pond, chased it off. Ten minutes later two fawn and a doe were in the woods behind the back yard, things might become hopeless for the garden here. Meg says we could just take up deer watching.


tina said...

I got a laugh out of that face shot. It is super!

I almost, ALMOST caught a picture of a dragonfly today but it did not stay still long enough. I'm not too quick with the camera. Don't know how you do it. But my big excitement was seeing a giant swallowtail. It was about the size of a bird and twice the size of an Eastern. Could not believe it. I did try to snap it but it was too fast too. I kept thinking, now what is that and I wished I had half the knowledge you had so I'd know without having to look it up! Thanks for the laugh. Love the face.

Randy Emmitt said...


Good luck on the Giant Swallowtail I've never gotten a good photo of one. I was chasing one once and the secret service stopped me and made me put away my camera as VP Al Gore was vacationing where I found the giant.

Rosey Pollen said...

What's not to love about a dragonfly? Very fantastic shots!
As always!

Janet said...

Randy, what a face!! My goodness. I have been having very little luck getting pictures these days. Maybe now that we got some rain the butterflies and dragonflies will be more settled on one bloom for more that a split second!
The sauna this afternoon erupted into a wild storm this evening.

tina said...

Well gee, did you tell them you are a world class insect photographer and were merely chasing a gigantic butterfly to photograph? Surely they would understand:)

MK said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos!

Tatyana said...

Randy, I'm glad you managed to take these pictures before you got baked! It looks like some hot air from your area decided to go to the NW. We are hot, too! But tomatoes are happy!

JRandSue said...

Fantastic set of Butterflies.
Love the sharp images,the colour is spot on.

sweet bay said...

Yesterday was really really hot.

Those little Checkered Skippers are beautiful. Great closeup of the Sanddragon. Dragonflies have beautiful eyes.

Dave said...

Great photos! It was extremely hot and humid that day. I've been recovering from food poisoning and was still weak from lack of food, the heat was just too much to get outside. Good luck with the deer! Hot cayenne pepper spray works, they take a bite and leave the plant alone. Of course if 8 deer each take a bite of the same plant the plant doesn't stand a chance!

Q said...

Wonderful Dragon!
I so understand how sometimes they will pose for photographs and sometimes not!
I am looking for the Tiger Swallowtail you mentioned that is bigger than a Giant! I bet it is huge.

Beth said...


I love all of your macro photography. I was just talking with a co-worker the other day about how much I just love "bug" photography. Thanks for the visit to my site. I thoroughly enjoyed yours. Stay cool!


Rose Ragai said...

Hi Randyd Meg...

Your dragonfly photos is amazing. I tried a few times take a shot of dragonfly and damselflies but i haven't got any good one yet. Here in Borneo we have so many pretty dragonflies and damselflies. When i got better camera and learn more on taking good photo i will share in my blog. Feel free to drop by sometime. See ya around.


shirl said...

Hi there Randy, I do beleive this is my first visit here. Followed a link from Trisha's post :-)

Wow... what stunning photos! So glad I stoppped by. I'm going to add you to my side bar now and will return to browse around soon. Have a great weekend :-D

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos, as usual. I love that second shot of the Common Checkered Skipper. And the Dragonfly pics are so good!

Not a lot of butterflies in my yard this year, but I'm happy to say that I did get a chance to photograph a Giant Swallowtail in my yard. First one I've ever seen.

Sue said...

I remember now how I got to your blog today. I have you in my blog roll, and I saw the butterfly post, so came over, I assume while I was eating lunch, then had to get back to my attempt to unclutter a room in my house. I didn't make a lot of progress, but I did move some things around.

I think the close up of the dragonfly's face is my favorite here, but they are all awesome!