Last weekend at Bonny Lake State Park and nearby spots the birding really got slow after our mid-day CFO meeting. But in the summer, there are always interesting non-birds to seek like Leps, Odes, and Herps. And better yet, some of my buddies actually know what they are doing with these critters, unlike me, so I learned a lot. Still, my IDs are tentative and I'd happily entertain improved ideas as to what they are.
At Hale Ponds, several colorful Damselflies were on the prowl around the pools formed on the S. Fork of the Republican River.
First, the stunning American Rubyspot- these are in their teneral stage (newly-emerged) and haven't developed their full color yet: Next, a Dancer (Blue-fronted?) And a Bluet (Familiar? Northern??) showing its carnivorous nature by eating a Green Lacewing (itself a carnivore... the tables are turned now, aren't they Mr./Mrs. Lacewing?) A few butterflies also entertained me: Gray Hairstreak, showing its false eye and decoy antennae. Hopefully (for it, not the bird), a jabbing beak would come up with a useless scrap of wing instead of delivering a fatal blow, allowing a narrow escape... And a Pearl or Northern Crescent (seems like these are hard to separate and may even be the same species?)
We had some neat herps, too. Here's a Plains Leopard Frog:
Finally, we had a pretty cooperative Western Rattlesnake. It was making a run for it through the grass, giving little shakes of its rattle as it went that Nathan recorded. When we got it to coil, though, it stopped rattling. Maybe it knew that Nathan wanted to record it and was being obstinate about the session. Oh, well, it couldn't cloak itself from my photographic recording, now could it?
Tundra Swan Song
1 week ago