Must be my lucky day…

We had a nice line of thunderstorms roll through last evening, and precipitation lingered into this morning, so I got off to a latish start. At first, is seemed that everyone was still laying low. Even Ol’ Blue had to take a step back from his usual spot by the falls.

So I headed up to the meadow by the river to see if maybe I could get another chance with the sandpiper, but the river was so high, even the rocks he perched on yesterday were submerged, and he was nowhere to be seen.

I had barely turned around to head home, perhaps feeling a little dejected, when this amazing creature came out of the woods to say “hi”, and I stood as still as I could.

You can tell by the look on her face how threatening she found me this morning. At that instant, I was standing about 10 feet away. A few minutes and a couple dozen shots later, look who else decided it must be safe to come on out!

Here you can plainly see that he’s about as afraid of me as she is.

He probably worked on his tail for a full minute. Man, now I’m gonna hafta wear this t-shirt, unwashed, for the rest of the summer! Anne will be thrilled. I eventually walked away as slowly and evenly as I could, and they were still munching on their breakfast as I exited the south end of the meadow.

Soon after, while the iron was still hot I guess, I came across this handsome critter, who appears to be an orange meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum spp.). The Bug Lady explains that some can be tricky to identify just from a photograph, so I don’t feel so bad.

Lastly, I stopped by a patch of Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), which is now blooming like crazy, to take even more pictures of monarch butterflies, when I spotted these two, who appear to be great black wasps (Sphex pensylvanicus). The Missouri Department of Conservation explains these are “a friend to gardeners: a single female great black wasp can capture 16 hoppers a day, helping control grasshoppers, which chew on crops and garden plants. This wasp also pollinates plants in the milkweed, carrot, and bean families.”

Yeah, there’s some new flowers out, too, but it looks like I’ll have to save those for a rainy day. Fino ad allora abbi cura di te.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

One thought on “Must be my lucky day…

  1. Great pictures! Oh yes, it sounds like you want me to spend your inheritance on a GPS! Just kidding, Dad


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