Tag Archives: Dragonflies

B-flies and D-flies



mournful-duskywing-3-againMournful Duskywing

The little skipper, above, is a first for my yard, and I love its name. I have now been back from the midwest for a couple weeks and trying to accumulate some birds and other critters for blog posts. All of these skippers have been in my yard lately but I’ve seen few other butterflies around which seems unusual. Hopefully, they will start up soon.

roseate-skimmer-gwrRoseate Skimmer

The dragonfly photos were taken at either Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch or Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix…while searching for birds, pretty much unsuccessfully.

skipper-grayEufala Skipper



mexican-amberwing-gwr_edited-2Mexican Amberwing



skipper-8-27-16Fiery Skipper


Fall is on its way…can’t wait.

Potato Creek State Park

Forest Path 2


A variety of natural habitats await the visitor to Potato Creek State Park in northwest Indiana including the 327 acre Worster Lake, old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies, and diverse wetlands. I know there were a ton of birds there but I was with my 95 year old mother so my opportunities for birding were limited (plus I didn’t take my birding lens back there).

I did get 3 lifers relatively easily so I can imagine what a few hours there would yield.


Chickadee 2Black-capped Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow_edited-1

Chipping 2Chipping Sparrow

CrowAmerican Crow

Cowbird 1Brown-headed Cowbird, young

Skiers Trail

Forest Path

Trail Erosion 2

Trail Erosion

It rained 8 inches the day I got to Indiana so there was much flooding in many places. The park suffered damage to some of the trails and the lake was closed.

SwallowtailTiger Swallowtail

Green DflyEastern Pondhawk

No Vehicles


It was very lush, very humid, and pretty buggy. I’d forgotten that feeling of something cold and slimy flying right into your eye that I used to experience in midwest summers in the woods.

Years ago, I wrote about this same place.

Dead Horse Ranch

Dasher DHRBlue Dasher

Queen DHRQueen Butterfly

Yesterday we went to Clarkdale, AZ, to see an old friend of Tony’s who was visiting his parents there. After lunching in nearby Cottonwood, we went to Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

The developed portion of the park covers 423 acres with a 3,300 foot elevation. It is part of a six-mile reach of the river known as the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area. Its unique ecosystem, the Cottonwood and Willow riparian gallery forest, is one of less than 20 such riparian zones in the world. Life along the river changes with the seasons, giving visitors a glimpse of the numerous species of raptors, neotropical migrants, resident songbirds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. (AZ State Parks)



The story of the park’s name begins with the Ireys family, who came to Arizona from Minnesota looking for a ranch to buy in the late 1940s. At one of the ranches they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road. After two days of viewing ranches, Dad Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best. The kids said, “the one with the dead horse, Dad!” The Ireys family chose the name Dead Horse Ranch and later, in 1973, when Arizona State Parks acquired the park, the Ireys made retaining the name a condition of sale. (AZ State Parks)



Clear water makes the underwater world visible.

I had high hopes of adding many new birds to my life list but, no. We heard a lot of birds but mostly what we saw were Grackles, which we have in our own yard. With 3 lagoons and the Verde River, I was surprised to not see more water birds. All I saw were a Great Blue Heron, a Green Heron, a Mallard mom and her 2 young ones, and a Coot. We have more birds in our lakes in Phoenix so I don’t know why there weren’t more. The lagoons get stocked every other week so there are plenty of fish.

This bird, below, is a Lifer, though, the only one I got yesterday. This is an immature Bullock’s Oriole. A gust of wind blew and the bird took off right after this.

Bullocks Oriole DHR

DHR SparrowSong Sparrow

Lizard DHRArizona Striped Whiptail Lizard

Widow Skimmer DHRWidow Skimmer

Ants DHR_edited-1The Stuff of Nightmares

Tons of ants everywhere so we didn’t want to stand still too long.



Once again, wrong time of year to be at this park. It was only a few degrees cooler than Phoenix so it was still over 100°.  We did get some exercise, though, and saw a beautiful new-to-us park. I’m sure in the fall it will be very “birdy.”

Morning Wins

Fishhook FlowersBee on Fishhook Cactus


PL x 5 GreenPainted Lady

Roseate SkimmerRoseate Skimmer, male

Dragonfly 8.8.15_edited-1Roseate Skimmer, female

Dragonfly 9.11.15

Lizard 8.30.15Camouflaged Lizard

The lantanas have been buzzing with critters:




Hairstreak Chomp

This is a Gray Hairstreak, above, whose camouflaged tail has apparently met with a predator.  “This is a case of a “false head” in a butterfly. While the real head is inconspicuous, the posterior part of the wings bear a gaudy, attention-attracting false head, colored orange and replete with fake eyespots, fake antennae, and fake legs. Note as well that the wing patterns call attention to the fake head by converging on it.” I guess the camouflage worked but now it has nothing for the next time…

Below is a photo from last year of an intact hairstreak.


Moon 8.31.15

All but 2 of these photos were taken in (or, in the case of the moon, from) my yard. Thanks to the silly Belvita commercials, #morningwin is my favorite hashtag. Nothing like starting the day seeing something you think is awesome.

Here’s a fun article about Carolyn Lavender, a local artist I know, and whose yard I’ve taken bird photos in!

More Beauties at the DBG

Flicker WingsGilded Flicker

It’s fun to get lifers, as I showed in my last post, but it’s also nice to get shots I like of familiar birds. These were taken on my excellent birding day at the Desert Botanical Garden last week. Click to enlarge any of the photos.

DoveMourning Dove

Dfly and BeeDragonfly and Bee

Hummer Girl

Hummer SuckingHummingbirds


RTHA_edited-1Red-Tailed Hawk

Lizard 2Desert Spiny Lizard

Flower and Bee


CW Bfly  DSC_3878Cactus Wren

Queen BatteredQueen Butterfly, a little battered

Flicker 2

Flicker BackGilded Flickers (2 different ones)