Monday, May 31, 2010

Penny's Bend Nature Preserve

Today Meg and I took a late mid afternoon walk at Penny's Bend Nature Preserve. For those of you that do nor know about Penny's Bend it is this large horseshoe bend in the Eno River and it has some unique plant associations. A very pleasant place to spend some time in Durham, NC.

A male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus on Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa
The link above takes you to my page about this butterfly.

A male Spicebush Swallowtail, Papilio troilus on Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa
The link above takes you to my page about this butterfly.

Northern Copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix mokeson
We found this on a gravel road on Saturday a little over a mile from our house. No he was not happy to see me, nor was Meg as I took this photo.
Usually we see these venomous snakes on the roads during the summer at night, this guy was out mid day. I have never in 12 years found one here on the property, the neighbor across the street called me about one she found in her yard about a month ago. She caught it a drove it to a wilder place to live.
This is my new carpenter's helper, he's called Snoozy the Possum! This morning he was sleeping next to my carpenter shop. I had a little project I was working on and he was 6-8 foot away the entire time sleepy away while I cut 36 boards using the circular saw, table saw which I drug past him and set up to rip my boards and the electric sander.He did move about 6 inches twice to hide better, but he had to get in his beauty rest and was not concerned about me even when the focusing light hit him when I took this day light lit photo from a foot away.

Other wildlife we have been having here is White-tailed Deer they have ate our peas and my Swiss Chard the last two nights! Meg is beside herself about her peas. We picked a quart of peas today, maybe our last.

Also for over a week we have been getting 4 Mallard ducks on the pond 3 males and one female. They are welcome to eat all the vegetation in the pond they wish!
New to our yard list a Common Sanddragon. I have lost the list but believe the list is close to 50 species of dragonflies and damselflies. We also added Prince Baskettail last month as one was seen cruising the sky over our pond!

This is a Slender Bluet, Enallagma traviatum that we found at Penny's Bend. Took me a long time to get myself to believe it is a Slender Bluet, normally the last segment(10) should not have that blue. This is the first Durham County record in twenty years, it is tiny and hard to find or no one has reported it. Last year I found over 100 of these at the pond next door and a few at our pond too. On Friday I counted 24 at the local pond.

The photo below shows some details the experts might enjoy.

19 comments:

Sarah Knight said...

Wow, those are some awesome shots! Sounds like an excellent place to visit!

Alice and Stuart said...

sorry to hear about the deer you two! we spotted a big fat groundhog near our garden areas yesterday. makes me so mad just thinking about the possibility of it eating away in the garden. your yard looks great as always and love the pic and story of snoozy. pretty funny.

Randy Emmitt said...

Sarah,
Penny's Bend is a very cool place, great flowers stay tuned for a post about them.

Alice and Stuart,
Last night after midnight I heard a loud sound of the brand new dog fence being ran into, then a bark. This morning the fence where it meets the house has a 6 inch dent about 2 foot high in it. When I heard it last night I was sure it was those deer.

Les said...

Perhaps your carpenter's helper was not sleeping, but merely playin possum. The copperhead is so beautiful, but is something I only like to see in pictures.

Southern Lady said...

All of your pictures are great. The copperhead, however, I could do without. I will allow any snakes around my property to go unharmed except a posionous one. I have had a dog to get bitten by one before, not a good thing. Carla

Raymond said...

Great pics. Bummer on the deer. Go to your barber shop and grab a garbage bag full of hair to spread around the perimeter of the garden. It seems to work very well for my father-in-law

Kerri said...

Your swallowtails are awesome! I am seeing less of those this year than I did last year - but more of the Red Admirals and other types of butterflies - some I've never seen before.
I so very much appreciate all of the help you've given me in IDing the dragonflies. Do you have field guide recommendation for dragons and damsels?

tina said...

Super shot of the snake-a big one too!

Carol said...

Adorable possum photo and of course, Randy, your photos of butterflies and dragonflies are always stunning. What amazing designs of turquoise! Yikes to the copperhead... very big!! I am not fond of these guys... killed my doggie 'Topper' long ago in Ga. Very scary fangs!! Your neighbor is very kind. The snake is very beautiful in its way.

Meredith said...

What an amazing collection of wildlife! A little bit of everything that day, it seems!

sweet bay said...

That's a fair-sized copperhead. We mostly see water snakes of all kinds around here.

Opposums always freak me out a little bit, they're so sloth-like.

Msrobin said...

Sounds like my kind of place, but why is it that men insist on facing danger without being careful? LOL A copperhead, yikes!

Andrea said...

Those are beautiful photos and lovely finds. However, i might take several thoughts before taking shots of the snake, it is big! I love the clear details of your photos esp the older dragonflies and damselflies.

Cameron said...

You always post such beautiful and informative nature stories. I've not walked the Eno trails in so many years. I used to take my son there a lot when he was growing up and we lived in Efland.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Great pictures like always! I'm not sure I could have gotten that close to the snake. The little backyard blackracers are great but copperheads are another story. How far back were you when you took the picture?

kanak7 said...

Your pictures are awesome! Loved going through your last post too. This nature reserve must be an amazing place. The swallowtails took my breath away!!

Rusty in Miami said...

Great pictures, I’m glad we don’t have copperhead snakes around my parts

Benjamin Vogt said...

This is very cool. I LOVE catologuing wbackyard wildlife. The last few days we've had some sort fo large, striped-wing dragonfly hovering over the garden, then making the same circles over and over.

Diana (Di) said...

Randy, those dragonflies, with the detail you provide, look like beautiful jewels - so many moving parts it seems - my DH just past buy and stood in awe of your photos.

PS: I'm still chuckling at your comment about the "most pitiful Evening Grosbeak" you have ever seen. Cloud cover still hovering this a.m. but hopeful for sun today.