My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Insect Searching

Green Darner up close

Green Darner Up Close

Between dodge ball and many other fun activities this weekend . . . . we still found a few hours to focus on insects. We headed out to the Bova Area and quickly caught a few butterflies species flying around. They included the Common Ringlets, Pearl Crescents and Eastern Tailed Blue but those dragonflies were what everyone was most focused on.

Jeff and his Dragonfly

Jeff and his Dragonfly

Jeff was our star dragonfly catcher with the Common Green Darner (sweet). They are very large in size, most widespread in the U.S. and very easy to identify out in the field. But these guys seem almost impossible to catch with a net. We were very pleased to see this “female” darner up close and even had fun releasing it (on someone’s nose).

yellow-legged meadowhawk

Yellow-legged Meadowhawk

We then moved over to Red House Lake and found a few more dragonflies. They included a few damselflies, Widow Skimmer, Halloween Pennant, and Yellow Legged Meadowhawk. Although we still couldn’t catch any Monarch Butterflies!!

monarch catcher

Jeff caught a Monarch

The following day while playing Forest Dodge Ball we had a few Monarch’s passing through the area! The game immediately stopped and off we went after this poor butterfly! Lucky for the butterfly it got away and the Meadow Fritillary’s continued throwing us. Eventually with the quick action of Jeff we had our first Monarch! Nick caught the second one and I caught the third one. These guys are soo cool and lucky we were able to tag all three of them!

monarch tagging

Tagging the wild Monarch

the munchers

How could I resist not posting this Green Darner’s Chompers.

19 responses

  1. Gorgeous! I’ve got to google dragonfly anatomy. I guess the head is mostly ‘eyes’ – as in ‘the better to see you, my dear . . . .’

    I’m seeing so many monarchs this year. Do you have a sense that it’s a better year than usual?

    5 September 2007 at 10:02 pm

  2. Oh my goodness, it looks like something from a scary movie, in a beautiful kind of way. This blog is SO informative. I love visiting here.

    5 September 2007 at 10:17 pm

  3. Fabulous close-up on the Green Darner. It was one of those things you just couldn’t take your eyes off of!!!

    5 September 2007 at 10:39 pm

  4. Wow! But, um,… Tom- you have something on your nose.

    5 September 2007 at 10:48 pm

  5. @ Cathy – depends on the dragonfly! Yes this has been a great year for them . . . well except when we have the tags and want to see them!
    @ Barb – thanks barb, you are always too kind!
    @ Zen – thanks and give it a try! Everywhere you move to . . . . it will still be looking at you!
    @ Lynne – checking out the links?? Actually I got young naturalist J to do it also but clips didn’t turn out as good! But he was the first one to do it!

    5 September 2007 at 11:36 pm

  6. Oh I’d think (with my limited experience) you’d get a two thumbs up from both Roger Ebert and Gene Siskle for this post! (…we’ll at least from me anyhow) hey, I am amazed at the size of your dragonflies – we have a lot here and I see them often. However I’m telling you yours out grow ours I think. hum….

    hoenstly, these shot are beautiful. I am so envious of these shots.. one day my want will catch up to my ability. 🙂

    6 September 2007 at 2:04 am

  7. Beautiful bugs! What colors! The close ups are awesome.

    6 September 2007 at 6:54 am

  8. Wow! That green darner has such a cute, colourful face! I don’t see a scary movie here, but a Disney flick with dragonfly heroes. What kid wouldn’t love that face?

    6 September 2007 at 7:25 am

  9. @ Aullori – thanks and these are some of our larger dragonflies! Do note that all of these shots were done with my point-n-shoot camera! You’re pictures are wonderful already!
    @ Jayne – thanks
    @ Ruth – thanks and how about when they are chewing on ya? Look at those chompers!

    6 September 2007 at 7:31 am

  10. I’m loving those dragonfly pics. The first one looks like it has this huge grin. hmmm wonder what he is thinking.

    I will have to try tagging my monarchs next year. It was reported in our newspaper the other day that a monarch tagged here was captured after a day of travels in Virginia. It traveled 265 miles. i find this so amazing.

    6 September 2007 at 7:32 am

  11. Tom, you’re such a good sport to pose with a dragonfly on your nose! Thanks for another fun post.

    6 September 2007 at 8:39 am

  12. Fascinating bug eyes!!! Nice close up. Is that macro setting?

    6 September 2007 at 12:26 pm

  13. Marg

    I’m still ROFL at the dragonfly on the nose shot!
    The Monarchs are still moving maybe the rush hasn’t just made it to you yet?

    6 September 2007 at 12:32 pm

  14. Awesome close-ups Tom!! Wow! Love the photo of the dragonfly on *someone’s* nose!! 😀
    That’s so cool you tagged three monarchs! Yay!

    6 September 2007 at 4:19 pm

  15. Do you ever have the feeling you are being watched?

    Great shots Tom!!

    6 September 2007 at 6:39 pm

  16. @ Toni – thanks and maybe it was my smile in the reflection of its eyes you are seeing?
    @ Ruthie – It was fun for sure and thanks for your kind words!
    @ Chicago – thanks and its macro with my point and shoot!
    @ Marg – thanks marg and glad it help make you smile!
    @ Pam – it was funny for sure, I should have posted the video of Young Naturalist J also doing it!
    @ Bernie – we are always being watched! Thanks!

    6 September 2007 at 9:09 pm

  17. Holy Cow! That darner looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie-mommy help!

    6 September 2007 at 9:58 pm

  18. Ok, great post all around. I just could not focus on most of it after I saw the “nose” shot! LOL!

    7 September 2007 at 9:55 am

  19. I already commented on your pictures, but these are some great shots.

    7 September 2007 at 12:01 pm

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