Our group was searching for orchids and other rare plants. I was more than Happy to be with them, Dave, Angela, Barbara Ann (A”H), Joe and one or two others. We went to Davis Memorial State Prairie Reserve in Ohio, and it did not disappoint, with its many unusual and uncommon and just rare plants and animals.
As we moved on the trail, an especially large, near giant dragonfly flew by and landed on the tree you see here. Dave would not let this one go unnoticed. He ID’d it as a rare, very ancient species of dragonfly, known as the Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi). It’s a huge northeastern dragonfly that was unique in many ways.
It’s unusual in that it’s the only northeastern dragonfly whose larvae is not aquatic. it’s larvae develop in wet, mossy seeps. When developers build on wild land, they destroy seeps, and reduce the presence of this fascinating dragonfly.
A Big dragonfly that is believed to have not changed since the time of the dinosaurs. When you set out to find butterflies, you also find so, so much more.
It’s been months for me and months for you. No? We haven’t seen a darner in what? Months?
Scrolling through our Media Library, I decided that it was time to share an image of a fine darner, set amidst the lush greenery that we also want to wade into.
This one met at OMG! Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio, June, and just a handful of miles from the Ohio/Kentucky border.
After I dumbly caught a large darner in mid-flight, with my bare left hand when I was about 9 years old (that was more painful than I could have ever dreamed), not one of the 104,558 darners that I have met since have ever bothered me. I love darners.
We spotted this moth on a mostly sunny morning at Ft. Federica, on St. Simons Island, on the Georgia coast. Me? I can recognize almost all butterflies, but moths, I don’t know most of them.
We spent almost a week in a vacation house in Townsend, Georgia. Most of our field work was was done at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, about 25 minutes from our beautiful rental home. That one day we drove to Ft. Federica, in part to see Virginia’s childhood home of St. Simons Island. I’d ask her where the best place to find and shoot butterflies on the island, and Virginia said that’d be this hundreds of years old English fort, Ft. Federica.
Id’ing moths is a very popular pursuit now, so I look forward to several of you helping us name this fascinating moth.
I used to find these in that empty ‘lot’ around the corner from my house in Brooklyn, in the 1950’s. I took for granted that like I, this mantid egg case was all-American. An American mantis’ eggs. Sturdy, resilient, strong for having weathered that long, low in the ’20’s winter before.
Not too long ago, I learned Uh Uh! No American, but instead an egg case for Chinese Mantids. What a bummer! For our many friends from other countries, that means what a Disappointment.
The great number of alien, non-native animals and plants in the United States, tens of thousands of species or more, is a shocker when you spend time thinking about that.
China? Sri Lanka? Norway? France? Mexico? New Zealand? And the wingedbeauty Friend from Estonia . . . do you see as many alien plants and animals in your country as we do in the United States?
Last year’s trip to the north Georgia mountains led us to David, a native of that beautiful region. David led us to Pigeon mountain, and its pair of pristine meadows.
The #1 goal was to find and shoot Diana Fritillary butterflies. All was seemingly perfect: A mountain meadow, full of nectaring blooms, sunny, windless weather, and all the hikers that we saw stayed below those meadows, leaving us to ourselves and our search.
Dianas? Nope. I’ve still not seen my first. Giants? Huge Giant Swallowtails, usually seen in groups of 3 or 4. Memories? Wonderful ones, on a mountain in north Georgia.
Still to be done? Need to get an ID on these nice wildflowers, growing in those Pigeon mountain meadows, along the perimeter tree line.
Ellen? Virginia? Rose? Barbara Ann? Angela? Jeff?