By the time I got into my studio at 6:30 am last week three out of my four remaining Monarch larva had emerged, or eclosed, as butterflies. Quckly I made sure I had everything ready for the last ones. I know, from previous experience, that they are very sneaky. You can sit and watch and wait for a couple of hours and as soon as you walk away for two minutes, they start.
I did a few things that took only a minute or two but still managed to miss the very beginning. I do have lots of images from previous eclosions, though.
It amazes me that they can hold on so tightly as soon as they drop out.
They all appear to be females.
The last two have now gone as well and I do see the occasional one floating around my garden and nectaring on various flowers.
Out on my lake in the third week of August were many damselflies and dragonflies. There was a pair of this species mating in every area of Pickerel Weed. I would really appreciate someone letting me know what species they are. I think they are spreadwings but no idea which ones.
There are a couple of new books out this year that could be of help in identification. Both are part of the North Woods Naturalist Series, Damselflies of the North Woods and Dragonflies of the North Woods.
I would like to add that I just returned from the Orillia Dragonfly Festival organized by Kids for Turtles. Colin Jones, one of the co-authors or “The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Provincial Park and the Surrounding Area”, gave a presentation. The book is beautifully illustrateded and covers all the species that would be seen around Georgian Bay, Muskoka, and Orillia as well as Algonquin Park. The North Woods books cover species seen further north.
There was another surprise for me after one of my paddles around my lake. I discovered that I had taken images of Mink Frogs rather than the Green Frogs I had assumed they were.
Mink Frogs are medium-sized, from 7-9 cm, have no barring on their hind legs, may or may not have dorsolateral ridges and their bottom lip is plain bright green or yellow. Another of their distinquishing feature is the fact that the web on their hind feet reaches the last joint. All these features may be seen on this individual.
My friend, Jack Jennings says, ” I figure if I’m paddling along and I see a frog out a ways from shore and it croaks then hops from lilly pad to lilly pad before it dives, it’s a mink frog”. That is exactly what they did when I saw them. Green Frogs usually dive and don’t come back up.
I had never identified them in my lake before so this was a treat. I haven’t heard them here in the spring as their calls are hidden by the loud calls of the many Spring Peepers.
All Images are the property of Eleanor Kee Wellman and may not be used for any purpose without my written permission.