Saturday, August 6, 2011

Emeralds and Stars ... more photos from "the Fen"

The East Hungerford Road passes through the Stoco Fen, and on any warm, sunny day a dozen or more emeralds can be seen cruising high above the roadway and open spaces of the fen. The relatively short abdomens and hairy claspers are discernible even while the insects are in flight, identifying these dragonflies as Brush-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora walshii). Seldom encountered elsewhere in our area, Brush-tipped Emeralds appear to be quite common in the vicinity of the fen.

Although there were some victims of traffic laying on the road a photo of an animal in a more natural setting is preferable. But these dragonflies never seem to stop and rest and its difficult to capture an image of one in flight with a camera, so this male was first captured in flight with a net.

This was a good opportunity to acquire a closeup of the brilliant, almost luminous green eyes characteristic of many emerald species.

Dorsal and lateral views of the terminal abdominal segments.

This photo of leaves and flowerbuds was taken about three weeks ago. I was uncertain at the time but thought they looked like Marsh Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia glauca).

It seems that my surmise was correct. These are but the first couple of flowers to open, soon the fen will be filled with hundreds of Bog Stars.