Friday, May 11, 2012
May 11, 2012: Erv's Field Notes #35
Adult mink at Jensen's Pond, 5/10/2012 (Erv Klaas)
Wednesday and Thursday, May 9 and 10, 2012. Temperature in the 60s, sunny and breezy.
On Wednesday, I walked along the north and west shore of the north lake. I saw only one damselfly, a female Eastern Forktail. Butterflies were very active. I identified Orange Sulfur, Eastern Tailed Blue, Mourning Cloak, Monarch, Pearly Crescent, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, and Buckeye. A pair of Buckeyes were courting. The female was feeding on a white clover flower while a smaller male made dozens of passes over her. While photographing butterflies, I noticed a small insect that I had only seen only once before, in the clutches of a damselfly. This time there were dozens of them in the vegetation along the lake. I took several photos and identified it when I got home as a "hanging fly." This insect is not a true fly but a member of the Order Mecoptera. The hanging fly gets its name from its very long front legs that have a hook on the end for clinging to vegetation.
On Thursday, I spent some time around Jensen's pond and got a very close look at an adult mink (picture above). I saw several species of dragonflies that were new for this year. My list included: Common Whitetail, 12-spotted Skimmer, Common Baskettail, a spreadwing that I could not identify to species, Eastern Forktail, Common Green Darner and Variegated Meadowhawk.
The latter three have been around for a month or more but the others were the first time I have seen them this year.