WGNSS Nature Photo Group Travels to Snake Road

Timber Rattlesnake feeling safe. f/7.1, 1/60 sec., ISO-640, 205 mm focal length equivalent.
Cottonmouth letting its freak flag fly. f/5, 1/160 sec., ISO-640, 322 mm focal length equivalent.
Missing Muppet? f/5. 1/125 sec., ISO-1600, 342 mm focal length equivalent.
Cottonmouth found at Larue Road. f/5, 1/125 sec., ISO-1600, 342 mm focal length equivalent.
Cottonmouth closeup. f/7.1, 1/100 sec., ISO-1600, 520 mm focal length equivalent.
Green Treefrog. f/5.6, 1/200 sec., ISO-640, 520 mm focal length equivalent.
Larue “Snake” Road, Autumn 2019. f/5, 1/100 sec., ISO-1250, 213 mm focal length equivalent.
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Orchids of Missouri – Green Adder’s Mouth (Malaxis unifolia)

Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid, 234 mm focal length equivalent, f/16, 1/60 sec., ISO-640
Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid, 234 mm focal length equivalent, f/16, 1/60 sec., ISO-640
Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid, 20 mm focal length equivalent, f/8, 1/80 sec., ISO-640
Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid, 403 mm focal length equivalent, f/16, 1/80 sec., ISO-640
Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid, 403 mm focal length equivalent, f/18, 1/80 sec., ISO-640

Three Missouri Orchids

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.

Aldo Leopold

 

Yellow-fringed Orchid (Platanthera ciliaris)

With the help of a friend, over the last few weeks I’ve been able to get a good start at finding and photographing as many of the 35 +/- orchids that can be found in Missouri. The yellow-fringed orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) is known from only a handful of threatened locations in the state. I was really thankful to be shown these in full bloom where they reside in acidic seeps in St. Francois County.

Yellow-fringed Orchid (Platanthera ciliaris)
Yellow-fringed Orchid (Platanthera ciliaris)

I had seen rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens) before, as its wonderful evergreen leaves stand out during winter hikes. This was the first time I’ve seen them in bloom. Photographed in Ste. Genevieve County.

Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)
Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)

Not the greatest photo of the greatest specimen, but this seemed to be the absolute last grass pink orchid (Calopogon tuberosus) to be found in bloom for the season at this location in St. Francois County.

Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus)

Council Bluff Lake Insects – Part One

Elderberry Borer – Cerambycidae – Desmocerus palliatus

Members of WGNSS Entomology and Nature Photography Groups met on June 24th, 2017 to see what interesting insects could be found.  In this post I am sharing a few of the more interesting that I was able to get photographs of during the day.  The find of the day had to be the Cerambycid pictured above that was, by no surprise, found by Ted MacRae.

Delta Flower Scarab

We found that blooms were a great way to find beetles.  It is easy to see how the delta flower scarab (Trigonopeltastes delta) got its name.

Flower Longhorn

Cerambicids like this flower longhorn can readily be found on blooms.

Banded Netwing

The banded netwing beetle (Calopteron reticulatum) are easy to find, often located in the open atop vegetation.  They rely on aposematic coloration to advertise that they carry aboard chemical compounds that make them a distasteful meal.

Agapostemon sp

The Hymenoptera were well represented on blooms of wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), Queen Ann’s lace (Daucus carota) and as pictured above, fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica).  I find the native bees to be tricky to identify by photographs, but I believe this can be placed in the genus  Agopostemon.  These bees nest in the ground and to promote them, leave patches of soil exposed somewhere in your yard.

Cuckoo-leaf-cutter Bee – Megachilidae – Coelioxys sp

This cleptoparasitic Coelioxys exclusively parasitizes the nests of bees in the Megachile genus.

Scaly Bee Fly – Bombyliidae – Lepidophora lepidocera

Besides being a bizarre little pollinator, this scaly bee fly is a cleptoparasite of cabronid wasps.

Double-toothed Prominent – Notodontidae – Nerice bidentata

Not to leave out the Leps, this double-toothed prominent moth larvae was found.  These guys have developed very effective camouflage that allows them to blend in and resemble the toothed, wavy margins of their elm (Ulmus) host plants.

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Fence Lizard

Northern Fence Lizard

During our search for insects at Council Bluff Lake, the WGNSS Nature Photography Group stumbled upon this cooperative and gravid female northern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthus).  She allowed our close inspection as she attempted to bask and warm herself on a rock.

Northern Fence Lizard
Northern Fence Lizard