10 August, 2014 Halloween Pennant
I just couldn’t resist that great name. That’s the actual name of a dragonfly I photographed this week – it’s called a “Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina).” Have a look:
I was most interested in “Pennant” – I’d never heard that before. When I googled it, I read that “…this dragonfly gets its name…when it is perched on the very tip of a stalk of grass and is blown about by even the slightest wind.” Just like a pennant! Just like in the picture I was fortunate enough to take. Very interesting. Other broad categories of dragonflies are called skimmers, hawkers, darters, darners, chasers and more, largely based on a frequent behavior of the dragonflies in each category. “Pennant” – it wasn’t intuitive. But when you see the picture I took – on my first try – it’s easy to see where the name comes from.
The “Halloween” part of the name I suppose comes from the coloring. Very autumnal even though it’s still mid-summer. All that bright orange and brown. The “Pennant” part also I suppose comes from the fact that they’re more still water insects than flowing water. I took this picture on the edge of one of the two ponds at West Creek Business Park. Not near the river where I do most of my photography.
I wasn’t at West Creek to photograph dragonflies that day – I wasn’t even there to take pictures. I was there riding my bicycle and I’d seen the first killdeers of the year running around the edge of the lake. The pictures I’m embarrassed to say were awful; here’s the best one:
Notice the second half of the scientific (“binomial”) name? “Vociferus“? There is no such thing as a quiet killdeer. Even their common name (“killdeer”) is because of the sound they make.
I promise there will be better killdeer pictures soon. They’re charming birds and quite attractive. It’s funny that I was trying to get the killdeers and although I missed them I ended up with a new dragonfly. Another thing that surprised me right there – right on the edge of that lake – were large mussel shells scattered all along the shoreline. They don’t photograph particularly well (in my opinion) but here’s one for an idea:
Flowers in August are getting few and far between but the ones left are showy. A few yards from the killdeers and the mussel and perhaps directly underneath the Halloween Pennant was this puffy white flower with a bee inside:
According to the time stamp on my camera I took that at 11:13 AM on Thursday at West Creek. That afternoon I went hiking at Pony Pasture – 10 miles east of West Creek – with a buddy of mine. Flowers were blooming next to the water there. On the next picture it’s the same day and the time stamp says 3:51 PM. Look at this flower with a bee inside:
Everybody’s stocking up.
On my way to the Y, I stopped in a neighborhood near me to photograph these yuccas. Always elegant:
Speaking of elegant, Evie bought this plant in a much more bedraggled condition several years ago for ninety-nine cents. She nursed it back to health and it looks graceful on our mantle with the morning sun lighting it up:
When the sun is shining in our living room window, Mackey (the black dog) and Turner tend to lie around. They also do that when the sun is not shining in our living room window. I think they’re just saving their energy for Pony Pasture:
Mackey and Turner get far too much attention. But they’re dogs; that’s just the way they are. I have a cat as well, “Dash.” He lies around too, but he’s not a slacker. Look at this guy – he lies around with personality:
Not a huge post this week. I hope your week is a great one and I look forward to seeing you here again (hopefully!) next Sunday. Until then,
PS A picture I took at Pony Pasture one morning this week: