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30648433_759c03afb6_s

What

Peck's Skipper Polites peckius

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 06:52 PM EDT

Description

Wings <2cm long -- a very small grass skipper.

Photos / Sounds

30647955_cdc612ad46_s

What

Green-headed Coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 04:51 PM EDT

Description

Growing in a pondside thicket, ~4-5' high.

Photos / Sounds

30648366_a8dd9647ce_s

What

fringed loosestrife Lysimachia ciliata

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 05:31 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

30648177_636fcc1eb2_s

What

Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 05:44 PM EDT

Description

A good bit smaller than Common Milkweed, & notice the horns sticking out past the hoods (follow the Common link for explanatory notes). In the "perversity of the universe" dept, the Common Milkweed I saw in a bona fide swamp; the Swamp Milkweed I saw in a park (by a pond) . Go figure!

Note the bug playing Kilroy up top. (It's practically impossible to get a pic of milkweed flowers without some kind of bonus bug!)

Photos / Sounds

What

Spotted Touch-me-not Impatiens capensis

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 04:48 PM EDT

Description

The leaves bead water when wet, giving it its other common name, Jewelweed -- see here here. "Touch-me-not" comes from the way ripe seed pods explode when touched.

Jewelweed is used as a cure for poison ivy, and also as an insect repellent. Probably the leaves have some sort of oil that repels water, repels insects, and mixes well with the poison ivy's own oil so it does a good job of lifting it off the skin. But the plant may have additional medicinal properties -- Impatiens textori extract has been shown to reduce allergic skin reactions: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&d...

Photos / Sounds

30723977_26cc8a18bb_s

What

purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 12:39 PM EDT

Description

For Urtica's Purple Loosestrife pollinator study. It's not gonna win any prizes, but at least the species of pollinator is clearly identifiable.

Photos / Sounds

30723977_26cc8a18bb_s

What

Small white Pieris rapae

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 12:39 PM EDT

Description

For Urtica's Purple Loosestrife pollinator study. It's not gonna win any prizes, but at least the species of pollinator is clearly identifiable.

Photos / Sounds

30648456_7c591798b7_s

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 06:19 PM EDT

Description

I was trying to get a shot of this little one on a pondside shrub leaf, but conditions weren't ideal; the light was relatively low & there were unpredictable gusts of wind. I reached out slowly with my left hand to try to steady the branch, but she lifted off -- and landed right on my shutter finger!

I transferred the camera to my left hand and worked the shutter button with my left thumb. The problem was that the camera's wrist strap was still around my right wrist, & with it attached like that I couldn't get the camera far enough away from the subject. It's is a little Olympus prosumer; pretty good, but the closest it will focus is 20cm. And getting it to autofocus on the subject is often extremely frustrating. (It has a manual focus, but it's a kludgy menu-driven interface that is next to useless.) I just could not seem to get it to focus on the finger & damselfly, whether because it was too close or because the autofocus was just being more obstreperous than usual (which is pretty bloody obstreperous) I don't know.

So I decided I needed to extricate my right hand from the wrist strap. Moving very slowly, I opened the loop up as wide as possible & passed it over the hand, up & over the finger with damselfly. Amazingly, she didn't budge! After that it was a lot easier, but the camera still didn't want to autofocus on this subject.

I was very lucky to finally get this shot -- I took a couple of dozen, & this one, with this incredibly cute pose ("cute" is not a word I normally associate with insects, but there you have it) is the only one that came out.

I'm pretty sure this is an immature (newly minted) female Sedge Sprite, the sprites being our smallest damselflies.

(Note for other Olympus users: I'm not talking about the big neck strap that came with the camera. I decided it was just too much strap for the camera, so I put the little wrist strap from my old Nikon film point & shoot on it instead.)

Photos / Sounds

30647843_dcf948dc49_s

What

Eastern Forktail Ischnura verticalis

Observer

anita363

Date

July 30, 2005 04:48 PM EDT

Description

I think this is probably a mature female Eastern Forktail.

The left eye is blurred because she's moving it -- they swivel very fast.

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