Archive for August, 2011

Another summer sunflower

August 25, 2011

Img_3294_aperture

A sunflower (Helianthus annuus) spotted during a photowalk through the Children’s Garden at Hollin Meadows Science and Math Focus School. See also, “Sunflower, Bumble bee, and a black ant” (one of my recent Posterous posts).

Advertisements

Rockies versus Nationals

August 23, 2011

Img_3308_aperture

My first visit to Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. USA, to see the Colorado Rockies (blue) versus the Washington Nationals (red) on 09 July 2011. The preceding geotagged snapshot shows the view from our seats in the stadium upper deck, first base side. Sincere thanks to my good friend Phil Wherry for treating me to good seats and a good time at the ballpark!

Bumble bee feeding on Swamp Milkweed

August 21, 2011

Img_3934_apertureImg_3938_aperture

A Bumble bee (Bombus sp.) feeding on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) growing in the wetland beside the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Swamp Milkweed is less common in the park this season. Other plants, including cattails, seem to be crowding out the milkweed plants. Milkweed is a host plant for several types of insects, including the Monarch butterfly.

Monarch butterfly (male)

August 19, 2011
Img_4212_ver2_aperture_annotatedImg_4212_ver2_apertureImg_4246_ver2_apertureImg_4238_aperture

A Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) spotted during a photowalk through the Children’s Garden at Hollin Meadows Science and Math Focus School. This individual is a male, as indicated by the “androconia” — two “hindwing pouches” on the male butterfly’s lower wings. Photo 1 of 4 was annotated to highlight the androconia; Photo 2 of 4 is the original photograph.

Tech Tips: Apple “Aperture,” a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos, was used to crop Photos 1, 2, and 3. Apple “Preview” was used to annotate Photo 1 to highlight the androconia on the butterfly’s hindwings.

 

Red-spotted Purple butterfly

August 17, 2011

Img_3398_apertureImg_3385_aperture

A Red-spotted Purple butterfly (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The Red-spotted Purple is a blackish-blue butterfly with iridescent blue markings on the upper side of its wings (as shown in Photo 1 of 2), and red spots on the underside of its wings (as shown in Photo 2 of 2). This individual was spotted along the edge of a large forested area, drinking water from a parking lot puddle.

Another Common Whitetail dragonfly (female)

August 15, 2011

Img_3967_apertureImg_3968_aperture

A Common Whitetail dragonfly (Libellula lydia), a member of the skimmer family of dragonflies, spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The preceding individual is a female, as indicated by its brown body and mid-wing brownish-black bands that do not go edge-to-edge on its translucent wings. (Males have a white abdomen and mid-wing brownish-black bands that go edge-to-edge on its translucent wings.)

Common Whitetail dragonfly (female)

August 13, 2011

Img_3985_aperture

A Common Whitetail dragonfly (Libellula lydia), a member of the skimmer family of dragonflies, spotted during a photowalk through the Children’s Garden at Hollin Meadows Science and Math Focus School. The preceding individual is a female, as indicated by its brown body and mid-wing brownish-black bands that do not go edge-to-edge on its translucent wings. (Males have a white abdomen and mid-wing brownish-black bands that go edge-to-edge on its translucent wings.)

Related Resources:

Purple Milkweed

August 11, 2011
Img_3111_apertureImg_3107_aperture

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) growing in the meadow east of the observation tower at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Kevin Munroe, park manager at Huntley Meadows, designated Purple Milkweed as a “plant of interest” due to the fact that it is officially a rare plant species in the state of Virginia (S2) [see p. 10].

Purple Milkweed plants flower from May to June in the mid-Atlantic region. Milkweed is a host plant for several types of insects, including the Monarch Butterfly.

Violet Dancer damselflies "in tandem"

August 9, 2011
Img_4120_ver2_apertureImg_4120_apertureImg_4121_aperture

A mating pair of Violet Dancer damselflies (Argia fumipennis violacea) spotted during a photowalk through “Paul Spring Park,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.  Formerly known as “Variable Dancer,” the Violet Dancer is classified as one of three subspecies of Variable Dancer damselflies.

Odonata, an order of insects including dragonflies and damselflies, reproduce in three stages: in tandem; in wheel (sometimes called “in heart” for damselflies); and oviposition. The damselflies shown in the preceding photo gallery are “in tandem,” in which the male uses claspers at the end of its abdomen to hold the female by its thorax. Therefore, the male damselfly is on the upper-right in the preceding photos; the female on the lower-left. See “Violet Dancer damselfly” (one of my recent Posterous posts) for more photos of a male Violet Dancer.

Photo 1 of 3 is a copy of the original photograph, cropped to highlight the damselflies; Photo 2 of 3 is the original photograph. Photo 1 was cropped and adjusted using AppleAperture.

Ebony Jewelwing damselfy (female)

August 7, 2011
Img_4079_ver2_aperture_annotatedImg_4079_aperture

An Ebony Jewelwing damselfly (Calopteryx maculata) spotted during a photowalk through “Paul Spring Park,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills (CAHH), Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The individual shown in the preceding photo gallery is a female, as indicated by its dull brown body and smoky wings with bright white spots near the wingtips. (Males have metallic green bodies and opaque black wings.)

The Ebony Jewelwing is one of eight species of broad-winged damselflies, a family of medium-size damselflies that have butterfly-like flight. Like all broad-winged damselflies, Ebony Jewelwing damselflies are usually found along small creeks and streams, near the water.

Related Resources:

Tech Tips: Photo 1 of 2 is a copy of the original photograph, cropped to highlight the damselfly; Photo 2 of 2 is the original photograph. Photo 1 was cropped and edge sharpened using Apple “Aperture,” a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos. Apple “Preview” was used to annotate Photo 1 to highlight the bright white spots near the damselfly’s wingtips.


%d bloggers like this: