Thursday, June 18, 2009

More Gems from Yesterday's Treasure Hunt

It's rainy and cold today, and my arthritic joints are achy, so I'm not going out. I'll get my nature fix from two fine books I'm reading: Beyond Your Doorstep: A handbook to the country by Hal Borland, and Cache Lake Country: Life in the north woods by John J. Rowlands. The Borland book is about the natural wonders close to his country home; the Rowlands book is about wilderness living and campcraft skills. Both are full of delights, including the wonderful illustrations in Rowlands's book.

I was filing my photos from yesterday's trip to Pyramid Lake and found other gems I would like to share before they get lost in the black hole of computer storage.

Here's another shot of tiny Twinflower, showing how small it is and how lovely it is inside. (Also showing how badly I need a manicure. Lost cause!)

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Here's a closer shot of that Lacquered Polypore, revealing its glossy surface. Sure, it's a little damp from the waterfall mist, but this fungus is shiny even when found in dry woods.

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While paddling around the lake, this dragonfly landed on my hand and rested there awhile. Very natty in brown and ivory stripes. Anybody know this pretty creature's name?

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I do know this showy fellow's common name: Twelve-spotted Skimmer. How come I count 22? That's common names for you. Anybody know the Latin?

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This spider, which was scurrying around a giant boulder along the lake shore, was nearly three inches across, if you count its outspread legs. Is this a fishing spider? I see them frequently as I paddle the shore, but I've never seen them catch a fish. Or anything else. But they must eat something to attain that size!

Postscript: According to Larry Weber's Spiders of the North Woods, the chevron markings on this spider's abdomen are diagnostic for a Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus), which is "easily the largest spider regularly found in the North Woods." Yup, they are certainly BIG!!


John W. Wall said...

I've got a couple of excellent field guides to the "odes" out here in CA, but it's at home. The one on your hand doesn't look familiar to me, though, anyway. Might not exist around here. The skimmer is Libellula pulchella.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Hello, John W. Wall, so good to hear from you! It's true we have different fauna here in NY than you do in CA, but still you knew the Latin name of that skimmer. Many thanks!

Ellen Rathbone said...

It might be a Stream Cruiser (Didymops transvera), or possibly a female Lancet Clubtail (Gomphus exilis). I tried using my "Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies" - a Stokes book. These are the two that came closest, and we are in their range.