It’s been a wet summer, and the fields in west Michigan are green and verdant. Places that were dry grass two summers ago are completely submerged this year, and the populations of frogs and toads seem to be booming. Standing near the marsh now, I hear the “pliiiingggg” of bull frogs and the occasional chirps of other species. Wandering through the savannah, looking for dragonflies, I’ve stumbled into a few gray tree frogs and maybe even a couple of cricket frogs.
The Dot-tailed Whitefaced Dragonflies are gone. I found a photo of one on the memory card when I dumped this weeks work, but realized it was a hold over from July 3. I believe that was the last time I saw one, and probably marks the end of their presence this year.
The blue dashers remain out in force. They remind me of the Great Spangled Fritillaries a few years ago – they were just insanely abundant for one summer, after which their populations dropped back down to normal.
As the summer matures, the red dragonflies are coming out in numbers as well. So far I’ve seen only Whitefaced Meadowhaks. The distinctive white face on the fire engine red males make these an easy species to identify. But hopefully some ruby and cherry faced meadowhawks will be along soon.
The butterfly weed is also in bloom and with the were Edwards Hairstreaks, Coral hairstreaks, and even a few Karner Blues.