I like to give things names …

I like to find the names of things. I’m not usually satisfied to title a photo ‘blue flower’ or ‘some kind of insect’. I like names. Sometimes it takes me ages to figure out what something is called, scouring various websites trying to match my plant or creature to one described.

Here are some of the things I’ve had to find names for over the last year. Most of them are things that were new to me this year, or if I’d seem them before I hadn’t found out what they were called. It’s always surprising that even though I generally stick to visiting the same areas again and again, I can still find something new!

By the way if you think any of my IDs are incorrect, please let me know – I’m always learning 🙂

Turkeytail Fungus (Trametes versicolor)
Turkeytail Fungus (Trametes versicolor)
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Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea)
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Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)
Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar
Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar
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Black Darter dragonfly (female)
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Black Darter dragonfly (male)
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Emerald Damselfly (male)
Sand Wasp
Sand Wasp
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Pale Toadflax (Linaria repens)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
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Silver Y Moth (brown colour form) – Autographa gamma
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Buff Footman Moth

 

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Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)
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Bumblebee-mimicking Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans)
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Lacewing
Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar
Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar

 

4-spotted Chaser
4-spotted Chaser dragonfly
Green Hairstreak butterfly - Callophrys rubi
Green Hairstreak butterfly – Callophrys rubi
Green Tiger Beetle
Green Tiger Beetle
Bogbean
Bogbean
Thistle Tortoise Beetle - Cassida rubiginosa
Thistle Tortoise Beetle – Cassida rubiginosa
Yellow Ophion
Yellow Ophion

If you find yourself trying to identify a plant or creature, here are some really useful websites to help you. These are only relevant if you’re in the UK. I’m sure there are equivalent websites elsewhere though.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Names. I went a little off topic as it said:

This week, share a photo that includes a name… Whatever you choose, make sure we can read the name!

No actual names visible in my photos I’m afraid, but they do have names 🙂

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On Edge

You may interpret my title in more than one way…

Literally speaking I am thinking about insects perched on the edge of things, but without the ‘the’ it suddenly means something else entirely. Something else that I am pretty familiar with these days with the anxiety when it hits. But I think photos of Dragonflies are nicer than photos of me looking anxious, so enjoy these instead 🙂

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Female Black Darter Dragonfly
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Male Black Darter Dragonfly
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Male Black Darter Dragonfly
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Black Darter Dragonflies, mating
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Male Black Darter Dragonfly
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Female Black Darter Dragonfly
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Female Black Darter Dragonfly
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Male Black Darter Dragonfly – this one decided my hand looked like something good to perch on the edge of

Here Be Dragons

I mentioned in the previous post that I’d seen some Dragonflies on my wanderings and here they are…

Back home I spotted this Common Darter by the pond last Thursday. At first I was disappointed as I didn’t see any Dragons, but then I managed to spot this one and get a couple of shots.

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I also managed to get a couple of shots of this big chap (a Golden-Ringed Dragonfly) who was being very elusive and flying off long distances when I crept up on him. I spent quite some time stalking him before admitting defeat. These are the best shots I managed:

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Then more recently I was on my way down to Bournemouth (where I am now) and stopped over at my Mum’s in Bristol. While pottering round her garden looking at butterflies we were surprised to find another Common Darter there. There’s no pond in the garden so I’m guessing he must have been visiting from the ponds down in the fields below their house. He perched awkwardly high up so the shots are a bit different from my usual approach.

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Not only that, but then we spotted a Damselfly in the garden too! I think they came just to make me happy 🙂

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We got down to Bournemouth a couple of days ago and while the weather was half-decent we had a walk in the gardens. I did spot one or two Dragons but they were being very unhelpful so no photos of them. I did get this one shot of a Beautiful Demoiselle though:

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Hopefully if the weather perks up a bit we’ll be able to go for another stroll and perhaps I’ll catch another Dragon 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge – Achievement

One of the photography areas that has given me the greatest sense of achievement over recent years is photos of dragonflies. I got my first decent photo of a dragonfly in August last year and since then there are been several more, each of which are big achievements for me. They’re very busy insects, flying around a lot and some types barely stop at all. I love the challenge of trying to creep up on them and get a good shot. Here’s some of my favourites …

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My first ever decent photo of a dragonfly – this is a Broad-Bodied Chaser, taken in August last year.
A closer look at the Broad-Bodied Chaser
A closer look at the Broad-Bodied Chaser
My one and only photo of a Southern Hawker - another from last August
My one and only photo of a Southern Hawker – another from last August
This one was pretty amazing - a young male Broad-Bodied Chaser came to our garden! He hung around for a few days, allowing many photos to be taken!
This one was pretty amazing – a young male Broad-Bodied Chaser came to our garden in May this year! He hung around for a few days, allowing many photos to be taken!
Here he is on a sunnier day visiting our Columbine flowers
Here he is on a sunnier day visiting our Columbine flowers
This is a female Black Darter taken in July
This is a female Black Darter taken in July
Four Spotted Chaser (also July)
Four Spotted Chaser (also July)
And finally a Common Darter who really wanted his photo taken during a walk in the summer
And finally a Common Darter who really wanted his photo taken during a walk in the summer

Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement.

Flight

At the weekend I was having a walk round the village with my daughter and when we reached the village pond there were dragons all around! Lots of Common Darter dragonflies buzzing around, some mating, and also (I think) a Southern Hawker. It was very exciting to be in amongst them and I was lucky enough to get a couple of shots of the Darters in flight! I would have loved to get a shot of the Hawker, but he was much too fast for me!

Here’s one settled on the ground for a better look:

No photos of the Hawker this time sadly, but this is a photo of a Southern Hawker that I managed to capture last year. They’re so pretty!

Here Be Dragons

Sorry I’ve not posted for nearly a week. It’s been one of those weeks, but it’s the weekend and yesterday we had a lovely morning walk at Cors Caron, our local marshy nature reserve. One of the main features of the walk were Dragonflies (and Damselflies) and I kept thinking to myself of old-fashioned maps with “Here Be Dragons” written across them 🙂 Here are some of the dragons we found:

Black Darter
Black Darter
Black Darter
Black Darter
Black Darter
Black Darter
Four-Spotted Chaser
Four-Spotted Chaser
Black Darter
Black Darter

There were many many other dragons I didn’t get a shot of as they whizzed and whirred around. I did spot a new-to-me damselfly as well which made me happy – the Emerald Damsefly:

Emerald Damselfly
Emerald Damselfly