07.15.2019 Along Branch Bridge Road

This is a popular locale for fishing and insect watching.  Lots of dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, and various other insects. It’s also the spot where I made the Tall Meadow Rue image last week.

This first image was a pleasant surprise Sunday morning as there is no sign of one here in our yard.

There is plenty of swamp milkweed along the edges of the road and this plump little monarch-Danaus plexippus caterpillar seemed to be having a snooze in the cool morning air.

A little farther down the road this dragonfly, the ID of which eludes me although I am fairly sure it is a meadowhawk, was perched among these fine grasses.  Shortly after this I got one of it atop a sedge but liked the busier composition here.

And a curiosity found on this and several other buttonbush-Cephalanthus occidentali plants are buttonbush gall-mites-Aceria cephalanthi.

I searched on BugGuide.Net but only found other pictures of the galls, none of the actual mites.  In case you are wondering, here is a healthy and fully mature buttonbush flower from the archives..



About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, Lepidoptera, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to 07.15.2019 Along Branch Bridge Road

  1. Nice pictures, all of them. What else would we expect?

    I’ve seen my share of galls like those on poison ivy down here. Bugguide suggests it’s a different critter, Aculops rhois, the poison ivy leaf gall mite.

    I noticed last week that our buttonbushes are blooming, too. I enjoy the fragrance of the “buttons”.


    • Yes, poison ivy leaf gall mite is different and what iNaturalist IDed this as. I eventually found the BG.N citations for buttonbush gall mites. The author is a Facebook friend locally and confirmed it for me.


  2. bluebrightly says:

    Wonderful! I like the variety…and am very happy to see a monarch caterpillar. The dragonfly on that “busy” background is very nice, like a quietly intricate tapestry. The gall – you manage to make it beautiful. I thought I remembered Buttonbush from a spot near the water on Staten Island, and a google search shows it grows there, so that must be right. So thanks for reminding me of this interesting plant, too!.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The dragonfly has captured my heart. Its wings are things of utter beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ms. Liz says:

    The dragonfly image is stunning Steve and if you’d permit me to share it on my blog with credit and link-back to you, I’d be pleased to feature it. If you’re ok about it let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Whole World isn’t in Winter – Exploring Colour

  6. Leya says:

    Found you via Liz blog – I think I will stay here!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Mackay says:

    I love the way you’ve caught the effect of the light on the dragonfly’s wings – truly beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Mackay says:

    That’s him, Steve – we are talking about the same photographer. I came across his work a little while ago when I was reading up on macro photography. (He’s on 500px too.) His photography is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete Hillman says:

    Lovely captures Steve. That caterpillar is a real looker. The dragonfly a real stunner!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Pete. I knew to expect a dragonfly or two, but the monarch caterpillar was a pleasant surprise. You may know that the monarch butterflies are in somewhat of a peril here lately so any time I find one is a thrill for the day. I was excited too by the transparency of those wings.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres says:

    I can’t quite decide about the dragonfly’s wings; do they show some color apart from the background, or is that Tiffany-like effect a result of seeing the grasses through the wings? Even if that’s so, it looks as though the venation is a little different from what I see around here. The effect is lovely, and I don’t think the image is cluttered, at all. It’s funny how some photos that have so many details work, and others don’t.

    I found my first buttonbush last month, and was tickled to death. I’ve seen it in a couple of nurseries, but that hardly counts. Mine was at the edge of that small pond where the water lilies live. It had its feet in the water, and so did I by the time it all was over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most of the color is from the grass flowers but there is also some blue reflecting from the sky. At first I was happy about my later images of the dragonfly for their cleanliness when it perched atop a nearby sedge. But when reviewing in Lightroom I recognized this background’s importance and concentrated on the one I have posted. I am sure I have mentioned it before to Steve and possibly you have seen the comment about one of my favorite photography books “Nature’s Chaos” by Eliot Porter and James Gleick. There are many others now embracing the chaos in landscape but his images remain an inspiration.

      Certain plants make getting our feet wet well worth a day’s sogginess. We just had a bridge replaced in town that I usually access for trips to our rail trail and the wet meadow where I see orchids. I have just learned about a lot of buttonbush there as well that somehow I hadn’t noticed before. If I brave the heat this weekend I think I’ll pay them a visit. Such a cool flower.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: 08.13.2019 Well, it ain’t exactly Texas | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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