Well that was a great weekend for pictures, both best pics yet of some species and great pics of several brand new ones.
The weekend started off interesting but frustrating with what I was pretty sure was a new dragonfly for the yard. But it was small and jumpy and the best I could do was from 6 feet away still with the macro lens on and right down in the grass. Until I got this on the computer I wasn't even sure if I had the thing at all. But pic there was, as above. I couldnt ID it myself and posted on BugGuide. Later that day a Marty R suggested maybe a Baskettail. Not more specific as there are several species and most are very tough to call especially from a photograph. But I thought, hmmm OK thats a possible. Especially that very hairy thorax which is something I dont see on anything else that visits regularly.
Anyway I was wondering if maybe anyone was going to add to that and left it at that for the day.
The weather has been beautiful all weekend, in the 70s, a little breezy but sunny. And theres blossom and flowers out all over the place. So I was shooting Eastern Tailed Blues and a Red Banded Hairstreak around the pond and seeing a good few damsels. But most werent a lot better than what I had.
Friday we boiled eggs, Saturday painted eggs and Sunday... well Sunday was time for Mrs B to crack them open, make devilled eggs and drive me out the house with the smell. Oh god I hate hard boiled eggs!
So I went across the street to the little 'park' that was left between our neighbourhood and the one next door. Its not THAT interesting as a rule as its kept mown so short. But it does have a little island of trees and shubs in the middle and a rather muddy sludgy stream in a cutting at the back. I don't much bother in summer as its too hot and too full of ticks. But yesterday I could see some trees and vines in flower so as long as it didnt smell like boiled eggs it was a positive oasis.
And indeed it turned out to be so. The flowering trees flowers were positively heaving with nectaring beasts. The first thing I saw was a brand new moth to me.
This is the magnificently named Mournful Thyris Pseudothyris sepulchralis. It's only a little thing but isn't that wonderful? And that name... sepulchralis.
And there on that same mass of flowers were a dozen or so Red-banded Hairstreaks. Thats a butterfly I didn't identify until last year and since have only seen 3 times including Saturday's and always as singles. But these were feeding so happily I was able to pull the banch down a little to get a better shot.
I don't think I'm going to get a better picture of a better specimen unless I find a mating pair now. Those tails are superb and I love those 'checkered' spots at the base of each hind wing. They remind me of those little squares you get to scan into your (not my) smartie phone.
And once I'd had my fill of those I wandered on to the back of the park nearer the creek and here are a half dozen small dark dragonflies buzzing about. Buzzing me actually, these are very inquisitive beasts. They looked a lot like the one I'd half photographed Saturday morning and sure enough after 10 minutes chasing the things around I finally got a perch. I did the Golden Rule thing first and got a picture then moved closer and closer each shot. But this one was settled for a while and I got all the shots I could want and from pretty much every angle. Even when i did disturb it it came right back to the same perch if I was still.
Yes, the hairy thorax ( a he-man dragonfly...though it might be female) and the dark upper with the lower yellow spots and the dark marks at the base of the hind wing that werent visible on saturdays picture. It was the very same and great call Bernie R from the first picture. It is indeed a baskettail. Common most likely but still not easy to call. I Just know its not a Prince Baskettail. You know Prince , small but very flashy.
I also have caterpillars and some new spiders. But I'll save them for next time as the spiders are worth a post of their own too.