Even the easiest path to the stream is over rugged, uneven ground. The forest floor is covered with heaps of fallen leaves and detritus, making it difficult to know where the best footing is.
The Blue Dasher is also called the Blue Pirate. They hang out here all summer in twos and threes at times. They glide around, perching often. I flushed one out of the undergrowth today, just by walking beside its hiding place. There was a sudden buzz and clatter and a sensation of dragonfly-sized movement zooming right by me. When in motion, dragonflies zip around fast, like peripheral visions. When they light on a branch, they will sit still while I slowly approach with a camera, rather than fly away instantly. Maybe we are becoming pals, of sorts.
We walk along reddish banks to the places where the currents mix up the light into the kind of scenes that the Impressionists captured in paint. For photos from April 2013 and a creek-inspired water essay, click here: http://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tributary-becoming-green-warriors-of-the-red-earth-country/
This bug stayed around most of July; I only saw one at a time. I just love the metallic teal green color. The body always looked all bright green to me., but the camera sees things differently. There are quite a few photos that show the purple sheen at the end of the abdomen. It may be the way the camera’s color sensitivity balance is set, or it may just be part of nature’s hue complexity. I only ever saw the white-spotted ones, which according to the nature guides, are female, and more subdued in color, but they always look neon-bright to me. For more discussion about natural world color, see this link: http://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/black-cats-in-sun-and-shade-a-painters-eye-view/
Opening and closing the wings is a communication between males and females, signaling location.
These damselflies are called bluets and as you’d imagine, they are mostly blue in color. We see them often. The blue one went and lit on some plastic, the contrary little bug! Not a natural setting, but those were the only sightings I had this year, so here it is. The yellow-orange one did a bit better, choosing the wood-grained board. The color surprised me. For awhile I couldn’t identify it, but its patterning looked so much like the blue damsels I see so often, that I finally typed in “Orange Bluet” and Voila! I’m much more familiar with the commonplace Familiar Bluet.
I haven’t actually been down to the creek much for awhile. I miss that! There’s a carpet of poison ivy on all paths, ticks are bouncing in all directions, and snake appearances are a good bet.
In fact, this one was in the road; it stopped me in my tracks. I know! Crazy, huh, going to grab the camera and heading back out there, but in my defense, LOL, I used the zoom lens to get the pictures. Rat snakes are beneficial and they are usually willing to pose for a few snapshots; after that, they are always allowed to continue about their business of rodent control.
I do like the toads much better! This place used to be hopping with them, but now we rarely see one.
The American Beauty Berry flowers have now fallen away, and the berries are starting out small, and yellow-green.
Coming, not so soon, autumn. Leaves fall as late as November, down my way. Nevertheless, in August the light changes here. The bright areas become more golden, and details are more defined; the dark areas become deeper. It brings on something we call “that awful autumn feeling” – a profound and unspecified longing. We shouldn’t complain – we might could have two, even three more months of warm weather. But that doesn’t change the calendar, or the fact that all that golden light is going to one day smack us in the face, gathered, intensified, and thrown back at us by the harvest moon. Neither can we change the tilt and whirl of the planet, which changes the light and brings winter, eventually. It’s a good thing actually, that we can’t! But I’m not so fond of winter. The summer has been oddly cool, though. The week that Siberia was hitting 90F, we were only in the high 80′s! We’ll have good dense foliage for awhile yet, we’ll stay leafy, green, buggy, and warm. We seem to live in Viridian, Alabama, most of the year.