Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Neons, gliders, and nightshades

I spent much of the nearly 100° afternoon today trying to take photos of a white-eyed vireo. Except for cardinals and painted buntings, white-eyed vireos are the only birds that sing in the five o'clock heat around here. I came very close to actually getting a clear view of a vireo, but not very close to getting a picture. They are easy to hear but hard to see. I have never gotten a recognizable image of one. Maybe someday.

So instead, I took more pictures of dragonflies.

Two views of a neon skimmer, Libellula croceipennis. Males are bright red, females a duller yellow or orange. This is a female, first in the shade... lit by the sun

A wandering glider, Pantala flavescens. This is one of the most widespread dragonflies in the world, found in all of the Americas up to southern Canada and in most of Asia. Some of them migrate long distances, are are occasionally found far at sea.

And here is one of our few remaining flowers, a solanum, a silver-leaf nightshade. They seem to thrive in the heat. These are generally considered ugly and noxious weeds--the plants are prickly and the berries are somewhat poisonous--but the flowers are quite showy and beautiful, and I like to photograph them. This is a picture I took yesterday. The petals have a curious retroflexed habit.

click any photo to enlarge

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