Dragonflies and Other Critters at Brazos Bend

Dragonflies and Other Critters at Brazos Bend

You must have guessed by now that Brazos Bend State Park is my favorite place to take pictures. It is close by, has a varied habitat and feels like my backyard after so many visits. And there are still parts I have not explored! I started going there last August, so I am still experiencing the seasonal changes. These are a few photos I took over several trips.

Let's talk about dragonflies first. I have been Googling Dragonfly and not having a lot of luck identifying these. I found a Field Guide on Amazon I am seriously considering since you can't always be sure of the accuracy of internet photos.

Unknown yellow dragonfly

Unknown yellow dragonfly

I call this one the yellow dragonfly, although I have no idea what its real name is. This one was taken at a place called the Wildflower Trail, next to the parking lot of the 40-acre lake. Same place I took the award-winning blue dragonfly photo I showed you a while back. 

Pondhawk

Pondhawk

This Pondhawk I found in the shrubbery next to the parking lot at Creekfield lake. I kept following this one around; I wanted him to land on a nice stick and he kept landing on the grass. I guess he was eating bugs or whatever dragonflies do and was not interested in posing.  

Finally, a pose

Finally, a pose

This is somewhat better.  I need to get down lower, vary the camera angle and try shooting up at these dragonflies. But it was really bright and hot that day.

I think I was sweating.

Might be a Blue Skimmer or a Sky Blue Dragonfly

Might be a Blue Skimmer or a Sky Blue Dragonfly

This one is rather nice.  Dragonflies have a hindwing that is larger than the forewing. Got that? And they have multi-faceted eyes. They eat mosquitoes, so they are our friends here in the south.

Don't worry mom, I wasn't that close

Don't worry mom, I wasn't that close

What is a trip to Brazos Bend without an alligator?  This one was on the side of the trail at 40-acre lake. I know they look scary to you, but there are ALWAYS on the trail, sunning and you really do get used to them. You have to be a bit careful, sometimes you are framing a shot and walking backwards and you have to remind yourself they are really back there, and could be dangerous.

Mostly you see families with kids and dogs taking pictures of the alligators with their phones.  I am always tempted to take their picture, taking a picture of the alligator.

Skink 

Skink 

This is a Skink.  It is a kind of lizard and was only a few inches long. He ran inside this dead log and I waited a long time for him to reappear. Finally, I realized if I moved out of his line of sight, he would be curious enough to check to see if I was still there. And he did.

Butterfly 

Butterfly 

Now, this was one of the very first butterflies I saw back in the Spring. The butterfly checklist for the park lists 99 different species. Unless I get a Butterfly Field Guide, you are just going to have to be content with no knowing its real name. Unless one of your loyal readers know what kind this is?

This was taken near Creekfield Lake and only after I got home and downloaded the picture to the computer that I realized it was already missing part of its wing.

It reminded me that beauty does not have to be perfect. 

Thistle 

Thistle 

This was taken the same day. Bright light can be harsh when you are photographing birds; it makes for deep shadows and washes out the white or bright areas if you are not careful.

But streaming bright light can be great for plants and insects, don't you think?

Anole in full threat display 

Anole in full threat display 

This anole was trying his best to scare me but I wasn't all that impressed. There are many different varieties of anoles around here; I am sure you have seen them in your yard. Did you know all species of anole in the US except the green anole were introduced through eggs nested in imported plants? That is what Wikipedia tells me.

PPE 

PPE 

And I have been asked time and again what kind of snake boots I wear and if I am careful wandering around in the wilds. So, these are my hiking shoes. I have plans to get some tall rubber boots because the most dangerous thing I have found in the woods are .. chiggers.

Do you think the Dragonfly Field Guide is a good investment? I hope so, because Amazon is sending it to my house on Monday.

The comments are working if you use an Android device, or Firefox or Chrome browsers. Internet Explorer is iffy as is the iPad. I have no idea if you can comment from an iPhone. I sent in a ticket to my blogging software and after a few days they came back with "it is a known issue and our developers are working on a solution".  Sounds familiar.

I checked these browser statistics the other day at work and it was kind of surprising how far Internet Explorer has fallen. So, might be time to try out a new browser, ya'll.

The Road to Rockport

The Road to Rockport

Adventure on an Oil Rig

Adventure on an Oil Rig