Friday, June 5, 2009

Under Cover


A little too close, and the thick, cool mud quickly creeps past the lip of my sandal, painting my big toe boldly brown, revealing the truth I had hoped to keep secret—
I’ve been straying just a bit from the trail.
But from beneath this brush, the view is quite different. Where, stepping carefully past the tangle of vines and squatting low on the bank, I can look out across the surface of this little pond—quietly watch with the others…and disappear.

American Bullfrog, male (large tympanic membrane)
Rana catesbeiana

Beside me at the edge, sits a very large Bullfrog, chin deep in cool water, not moving a muscle. And as footsteps approach from the trail behind us, I hope he has not chosen this moment to launch himself noisily into the basin, announcing to all our perfect location--this cozy corner from which we wait, hidden.

Damselflies on American Lotus leaf

Dragonfly wings clatter loudly overhead. This water has unleashed them by the hundreds into the sunshine—skimmers and dashers, clubtails and darners--hungry and seeking mates in the open space carved from the woods by this small pond.



The tall sedges stretching up through the constant green of the water in front of me are covered in damselflies, linked in tandem, male and female pairs, almost silhouetted against the reflective surface, broken only by the circles of waxy blue, floating shoulder to shoulder.


And, as others pass, giving warnings of the poison ivy to one who might consider stepping close, I’m glad that, having carried a camera here, I have reason to inch yet a bit further.
This front row seat is worth muddy feet.

Damselfly pair on sedges (above)
and in mating wheel (below)


Northern Green Frog,
Rana clamitans melanota


Stumble Upon Toolbar

18 comments:

bobbie said...

What a wonderful post!

Ginnymo said...

What an awesome post Nina!! I love the Bullfrog and all the "bugs". Ha!

Michelle Johnson said...

Great post. I'm sure it was worth the muddy feet getting these wonderful pictures. Have a great day.

Clare said...

As always, wonderfully written, brilliantly photographed. I remain envious as ever.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You painted a beautiful picture with your prose Nina. I could just see you there crouching with the bullfrog, watching bug porn.

Arija said...

Consumat photography! You are amazingly attuned to nature to be able to be so still that you can snap the insects and frogs so close up. I would not be able to even see them with the naked eye let alonephotograh the so perfectly.

scienceguy288 said...

Great shot with the four damselflies on the one stem. The area must have been pretty thick with them.

Elisabeth's bright side said...

Wonderful, I'm so impressed by the photographs you take. I are really tuned in to life around you! Thank you for sharing.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Nina
What nice place this is.. your Damselfly pictures are a delight to behold. I was out this week and for the first time in many years my eyes caught sight of both blue and red damselflies. I clicked away as they buzzed to and fro.. but I did not manage anything as good as these.

Tom
My blogs: Wiggers World and Pictures & Words

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely post, the photos of the linked damselflies are just awesome

KatDoc said...

Were you "off-roading" it at CNC? tsk, tsk, tsk. ;)

Your photos are certainly worth taking the unbeaten path.

~Kathi

mon@rch said...

I love those blues and greens in those photos! Keep up with the amazing work!

Mary said...

Fantastic. You must have been so happy to find damsels doing what they do...

Heather said...

Wonderful as always, Nina. I love all the photos and all the prose. That's some serious damselfly lovin' going on in that one photo. Interestingly, I have seen the term "bug porn" twice tonight, once on Mary's blog and then again here in the comments!

Nothing Profound said...

This is a lovely, lovely blog. Great pictures and fine words. I go for long walks every day in nature, look at everything with stunned eyes, but never know the names of the things I see. It all seems so mind-boggling and magical.

dguzman said...

sigh....

Oh so beautiful.

Bird said...

Magical photographs. Makes me want to jump on my bike and go to the river, right now, immediately.

Julie Zickefoose said...

These damsel and dragon photos are genius. Thanks for getting your feet muddy for us!