Posts Tagged ‘male’

Dandelions

It’s obvious why there are so many dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) around the yard.

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Each flowerhead produces a LOT of seeds …

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with a little help from the insects.

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Wind disperses the

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the parachute – like seeds.

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Each dandelion flowerhead contains both female and male flowers.

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Dandelions don’t actually need wind or insects to pollinate the flowers. If you look close at a female flower and follow it down, you’ll see that they each of them is in a tube. The tube is the male flower. So, the female flower becomes pollinated as it grows out through the male flower.

The Return of the Groundhogs

Foxes and groundhogs have both denned under our barn in past years.  I was beginning to worry that neither would den here this year.

The female groundhog moved in about two weeks ago and suns often.

We saw the male for the first time earlier this afternoon — March tenth. Its fur is darker than hers. Neither me nor my husband had seen a dark one like this one.

Dragonflies in the Yard

So far the butterflies are almost nonexistent this summer. I could probably count all I’ve seen on one hand.

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So, I’ve switched to dragonflies instead. Their numbers are relatively low. At least they’re in the yard.

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Male widow skimmer

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This is another widow skimmer. It’s fresher than the one above. This was the only angle it cooperated for.

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Female widow skimmer

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Halloween pennant — it’s the first I’ve seen this summer.

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I have yet to identify the dragonfly above and the one below.

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It’s like I’ve said before, I don’t need a name to enjoy the find.

Comparison

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Both of these dragonflies are widow skimmers. The lower one on the left is an immature male. The other one with the blue abdomen is a mature male.

It was considerate of them to pose for me like this … apparently, they wanted in a blog.

Pair Widow Skimmers

Dragonfly numbers have been low so far this year.

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This female widow skimmer is one of the few I’ve photographed this summer.

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The male widow skimmer landed right in front of me. Their range covers most of the U.S. except out west from Montana down to Nevada and Utah.

I hope dragonfly numbers increase in our yard.

A Dragonfly Surprise

I took a few minutes to walk around the backyard, looking for any new visitors.

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The male widow skimmer dragonflies have been hanging around in my two small gardens. I didn’t see this other visitor until I got the pictures in the computer. There’s a tiny red mite on the dragonfly’s side. Two other skimmers also had a mite on them.

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  The males have the yellow stripe on their abdomen like the females do. The female widow skimmers lack the white patch on their forewings, and the male’s abdomen will turn a powder blue.

 

They’re Back

The groundhogs are back … at least the male is.

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 My husband saw it a few minutes ago, relatively close to the barn. I don’t think the four young ones are big enough to be on their own yet.

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So, it will be interesting to see who all returns … or if this one doesn’t stay.