Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lessons from Summer 2008

Some people might argue that the big lesson from this summer is not to take on too many projects. I think that there are far more important lessans to learn.

For many years, I have known that Baltimore Checkerspot eggs could be either red or yellow. This year, I watched a female in the process of laying a large clutch of bright yellow eggs. The photos did not come out at all well. So I went back and took the following picture. Apparently, they lay yellow eggs which then turn red.

I learned that I can post bigger photos with more detail on my blog, and that the results really would look better.

Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan) on Asclepias syriaca. Click to embiggen!

I learned that there are some really cool smaller cicadas hanging out on the prairie. This one's only about an inch and a half long.

Cicadetta sp.

And I learned that with persistence (and 2 seasons worth of effort) I could take a decent picture of Typocerus octonotata.

Typocerus octonotata on Coreopsis palmata
This one also embiggens well.

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At 16:55, Blogger Dr. Know said...

When you stop learning, you're dead -- or likely should be.

At 19:18, Blogger cedrorum said...

Great lessons. I love the story regarding the two different colors of checkerspot eggs. See, things happen for a reason. If those pictures would have come out you never would have seen that. I'm not so sure that making your pictures bigger is making them better. Like I said last week, I think your photography skills are improving.

At 22:02, Blogger Ur-spo said...

good lessons - all.
Have you learned yet how to keep The Wild One happy at all times?

At 23:48, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Great post and information.

Cool skipper photo and the beetle is great.

I like the larger photos,

At 00:31, Blogger Amila Salgado said...

Great lessons learned. Worth the wait for Typocerus octonotata. That is a very beautiful insect!

At 10:39, Blogger robin andrea said...

You learned vry good lessons, and as a good teacher, now I learned them too.

At 17:06, Blogger rodger said...

Yes...your photos are getting better and I love that we can enlarge them now.

I love the fine hairs on the leaf the Cicada is clinging to...and that you can see them though the translucent wings.

At 22:06, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Doc- true. Though there are days...

cedrorum- Thanks. I'm trying to get more images for some of the immature stages of insects that I find. There often are not good photos. I now have pics of all 4 life stages of the Baltimore Checkerspot.

Spo- I'd be happy if I felt that I were eeping the Wild One happy even some of the time. Sven is so much better at it than I am.

troy - Thanks. I think Skywatch works much better with bigger photos.

Gallicissa- Thanks. I have a special fondness for longhorn beetles.

Robin- Thank you.

Rodger- Thanks. The plant is called prairie dock, and the hairs give it a distinctly rough texture- almost like sandpaper. They are said to be an anti-dessication adaptation.

At 22:21, Blogger TR Ryan said...

That is some fine photography - I don't know how you get so close or get them in such close range. I've given up.

At 23:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent photos!
And can I just say, I love the word "cicadetta"? I'm going to have to use it regularly...somehow.

At 04:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad we can enlarge your photos now Doug. Here is a puzzle for you


At 05:40, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug - that's an impressive clutch of eggs! The color change is pretty amazing.

Ditto on the larger photos - the skipper is very nice, as are the Asclepias, of course!

Nice Typocerus too - Bev identified a T. zebra for me a few weeks ago!

(Hope this doesn't appear twice. Didn't appear to take the first time.)

At 12:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too liked the Prairie Dock...too bad it won't grow here. I STILL have NOT learned how to post the pictures I can embiggen, and need just a half day of spare time, eh? Since you're posting pics of animal life WE plebians aren't familiar with this has been a BIG improvement for all your readers, I'm sure.

At 17:02, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Excellent shots. I'd love to find one of those "prairie" cicadas some day...

At 16:44, Blogger Kathie Brown said...

Doug, great job with the photos! That Delaware skipper looks almost elegant when you embiggen it! I didn't embiggen the cicada though. He/she would be scary!


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