Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday Fieldtrip At Eno River State Park

Sunday I met my friend Roger at the Eno River State Park at the Pleasant Green Access. For those of you that do not know about the Eno River State Park it has several accesses. We were hoping to see Midland Clubtails, one might have been seen but it evaded us. So after a while we decided to go over to the Cole Mill Access which has a lot of Ox-eyed Daisy in bloom.

The Cole Mill Access has always had the largest population of Arrowhead Spiketail, Cordulegaster obliqua I know of. These are our largest spiketail dragonfly reaching 3 1/2 inches! On Sunday we saw four males and one female, the females have a spike they use to deposit eggs with, see below.

Female with the spiketail.
Male Arrowhead Spiketail.

Here is why they call it Arrowhead!
These as you can tell are fun to photograph and 3 of the 5 posed for me fairly well.

OK on to the really big find of the day.
My second ever North Carolina Umber Shadowdragon, Neurocordulia obsoleta.
Last year in July Meg found one along the Eno in Durham County, this one found on Sunday was in Orange County. Umber Shadowdragons have been found in 53 counties in NC, but none have been recorded in 20 + years here until these two sightings Sunday and Last July. They hang out in the shade doing the day and forage just before dark, making them hard to find on the usual outing.

Umber Shadowdragon, Neurocordulia obsoleta

Another good find an Eastern Pine Elfin, Callophrys niphon on Ox-eyed Daisy. Not the freshest butterfly or my best photo, yet easily missed if you not paying attention. Last years photo was much better.

Above is a Banded Hairstreak, Satyrium calanus on a plant under a spittlebug. You can find these little hairstreaks for almost a month and they are just coming out.

Above my first Silvery Checkerspot, Chlosyne nycteis of the year. These host on wingstem and where I found this one, wingstem was everywhere!
We are having a bumper year with the Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis they were everywhere swirling all about rarely landing for a decent look let alone a photo.
Found two of these Painted Skimmer, Libellula semifasciata. These can show up about anywhere in the spring, not seen at Paradise YET!
No this is not a posed photo! Finding a dragonfly perched on a flower just does not happen, at least until this Lancet Clubtail, Gomphus exilis decided to land on this Ox-eyed Daisy.
I figured I better toss in this male Southern Spreadwing, Lestes australis damselfly from our pond since I'd not featured any damselflies.
Here is a freshly emerged Splendid Clubtail, Gomphus lineatifrons. Usually dragonflies do not have the wings over the back like this unless they have just emerged.  I saw this female fly up from the river onto a limb over a big downed log. I climbed up and took this photo with one hand holding on for dear life and the other on the big camera the river was 8 foot below right under me. More on clubtails like the Splendid Clubtails from last year.


Cyndy said...

Wow photos! The dragonflies in detail are every bit as gorgeous as the butterflies - great captures.

Southern Lady said...

What beautiful photos! I have tried to photograph dragonflies at my pond. Those little fellers won't stay still. You must have magical powers over them. Carla

Sarah Knight said...

What wonderful creatures!
Excellent photos : )

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Gorgeous photographs!

UrsulaV said...

I've been noticing the bumper crop of Question Marks down here in Pittsboro--those little guys are EVERYWHERE. I'd never seen one before this spring, and now I can't go into the yard without running into two or three.

sweet bay said...

Great pictures Randy. Those dragonflies have gorgeous eyes. Beautiful bright blue eyes on that damselfly too.

wiseacre said...

Great photos, you had a good day.

I was looking for the message that said 'I'm with Randy' under the arrows :)

Chandramouli S said...

I'm lovin' it - your exquisite shots of the d'flies!

ConsciousGardener said...

Oh my, these are magnificient! So glad I tripped onto your blog! I will return...what a talented photographer you are!

Q said...

So fun to see your Dragons and the Damsels. Wonderful photos. The macro lens is so wonderful. Thank you for the ids too. I also enjoyed seeing your butterflies.
It warmed up enough today that I think we just might have some Dragons emerging soon. I did see a few butterflies this afternoon.
Glad you had some rain...we have had plenty this past week.

Carol said...

Randy, I am always amazed at your talent for getting these great dragon shots! Great photos I should say. Congrats on getting the Shadowdragon! Your Elfin, Question Mark, Skimmers and damselfly are terrific too! Especially your damselfly!! Wow!! What an EYE you both have! Meg must worry about you sometimes! Risking life and limb for a good shot! ;>)

Carol said...

Gosh, Randy... I hope you get a great new account! You never know what tomorrow might bring. I know well about losing jobs one is counting on. Best of Luck! Thanks for the wonderful comment! Glad I got to see these stunning photos again! I had not noticed the little Banded Hairstreak's eye and antennae before. Neat!