Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bona Dea Gator Update

Bona Dea was sunny and warmer and more humid today, Wednesday. I was feeding the fish as usual and then decided I would look around at some of the places where the Alligator hangs out. Sure enough I found it. It was facing the water with its tail going up hill on the bank. Never saw it in that position before. It was in a position to take off in the water in a hurry. I started taking photos then decided to try to get closer. When I moved in, it really jumped high with its feet and hit the water with a big splash. It went straight under water and I never did see it again. It did not come up for air or go swimming off. It must have moved away totally under water. People must have been messing with it and now having it too scared to stay put. These 2 photos showing it just before it took off.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bona Dea Alligator Update

Bona Dea was sunny and mild and no humidity today, Saturday. A great day to be at the park. I will get right to the best part first. I saw the infamous alligator today. It was the first time since around May that I have seen it and haven't seen anyone else who has. Have no idea where it has been. I could not get a photo as I was looking through underbrush and the gator was a long ways off. I have a recent photo of it here and this is close to what it looked like today and it was swimming away from me to the other end of a pool of water. Good to know it is still around or has come back home. Also took some photos of a couple of plants and the one showing the smaller pinkish blooms is another Trumpetweed or Joe-Pyed weed wildflower. It shows a lot of blooms as was just off of Prairie Creek trail. The other one showing a big trumpet like bloom is a Wild Trumpet Flower bush bloom. This one is fully opened up and a recent photo shows one folded up. They tend to open up in the bright sunshine and close up for the night. This one was right by the Big Prairie Creek Bridge on Serpendipity Trail. Also on this trail I took a photo of another Question Mark butterfly. It is the one by the leaf on the gravel and a Hackberry Emperor butterfly which is the one in the photo with the many small rounded leaves. By Bullfrog pond, I saw many many Little Yellow or Little Sulfur butterflies just all over the Partridge-pea plants that I have photoed in a recent post. Also a Pearl Crescent butterfly which is the striking one showing black and yellow markings and seems to be down in the grass. I have never seen one of these before. The butterflies are really all over the place now that the weather has improved. But the day was made by seeing Mr. or Mrs. Alligator.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bona Dea Butterfly Photos

These photos were taken on Sunday, August 29th. The photo showing the 2 smaller dark grayish butterflies are of a Question Mark on the left and a Red Admiral on the right. They were really looking each other over and would touch each other and fly away and then come back together again. They are different species and really looked odd together on the willow tree trunk. Also there is another variety of the Question Mark that is shown in the photo showing a single butterfly in front of what looks like a sky background and is very light gray. When it opens up showing the top view it is in the photo showing the pretty yellow with small and large brown spots with the wings spread out on a leaf. They really look different when closed or opened up. There is a photo of the above mentioned Red Admiral butterfly opened up with wings spread out. The photo looks blurred as it was moving its wings pretty fast. It is the one showing the top view on a tree trunk and a semi-circle of orange color with white spots on the outside. The other photo shows a Viceroy butterfly with its very pretty orange and black spider web pattern wings spread apart with a Question Mark butterfly messing with it. That was a day gone to the butterflies.

Bona Dea Update

For the past few weeks Bona Dea has been very hot and humid. But the last 2 days have been cloudy and rainy. We really needed the rain. Today it rained a lot. There have been flocks of Grackles and Robin birds. They must be getting ready to migrate. The fish have been really eating the food pellets at the spillway. I was walking along Swinging Bridge trail the other day and a delta wing shaped fly of some sort started buzzing around me and then stung me on both hands. I could not get it to stay away from me even after swinging my arms around wildly. Don't know what kind it was. It or one like it buzzed me again later but I did not get stung that time. Groups of Blue-teal ducks have been swimming around in Waldon Pond. Also a Great Blue Heron has been in the area. They seemed to leave the area in the hotter summer days. Grey Squirrels are coming out and playing around. Must be this years young stretching their legs for the first time. On Bullfrog Pond I saw some Great Egrets. They are pure white large Heron type birds. When they fly they keep their necks bent and not straight like the Herons. One photo here shows one along with a Tri-colored Heron which is sorta rare around here. It is the grayish looking bird. Also on Bullfrog Pond were a group of Partridge-Pea wildflowers. The photo showing the small yellow bloom is one of them. The foliage is fern like and if you squeeze the stems the leaves will double up or close. I used to do this to them all the time as a kid. Then the other photo is of a Lavender Trumpet Bush bloom. These plants are plentiful at the park and only grow along Prarie Creek where they can get plenty of water and are actually flooded when the creek is high. The butterfly photo is of a Red-spotted Purple showing the top view. This was at the spillway.