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Friday, May 30, 2008

Today's Hike (Updated)

Today Charles & I went down to Fontainebleau State Park to attend a nature hike we saw advertised in a local magazine. Unfortunately the time listed in the mag was wrong, so we went for an unguided hike, instead. As temps were in the 90s today (with high humidity,) we didn't stay long.
2 Eastern pondhawk dragonflies. The females are green & the males are blue. There were dozens of them all along the path.

An orange dragonfly I'm trying to ID.

Leucauge venusta, an orchard spider. There are tons of these spiders all around here. Thanks to Hannah Nendick-Mason at Bug Guide for the ID!

Once again, the eagle-eyed Charles pointed out a new delight; purple passionflowers!

(Updates: This photo was featured on the front page of the St. Tammany News Apr. 24, 2009 and on the cover of Alternatives magazine for Apr./May 2009.)

Sunset on Lake Pontchartrain. This picture was actually taken at the park a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn't had an opportunity to upload it until now. (Update, Jul. 23, 2008; This photo was published on the front page of the St. Tammany News & was a finalist in an online art contest at the same time.)

38 comments:

Travis said...

GAH! I needed a spider warning!

The dragonflies were neat.

Charles Gramlich said...

Those passion flowers are gorgeous with all their layers. I love the laciness of them.

Marvin said...

Great photos, Lana. The sunset is beautiful and the passion flower -- WOW! Passion flowers seem like some other-worldly creation from a sci-fi movie.

Dave Coulter said...

I love those dragonflies...I'm trying to learn about them as well.
I bet you have lots of them down south? That passion flower is fantastic! Is that a native plant?

What a nice hike you two had!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I have never seen passion flowers before and you have given me a delightful view of them. I adore them. :D Super photos and post, Lana. I'm so glad we're blogging friends. :D

Hugs, JJ

laughingwolf said...

great shots, lana... and more history :)

Danny Tagalog said...

Yes, I'd never see those 'lacy'passion flowers either. Really delightful shots there. It's a joy to see these pics, Lana:)

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; Sorry about the spider, but he can't "get" you. *L* The dragonflies down here seem to run the gamut of rainbow colors. Very lovely!

Charles; They're not as gorgeous as you, but they're OK. ;)

Marvin; Thank you. :) I agree about passionflowers--very Otherworldly!

Dave; Yes, although it was HOT, we had a good time. There's definitely no shortage of dragonflies around here--they love the swamps & marshes! The purple passionflower is native to the SE quarter of the US (roughly.)

JJ; Thanks & likewise! :)

Laughingwolf & Danny; Thank you!

Donnetta Lee said...

Hi, Lana: Oh, that passion flower is my favorite. Just beautiful. But all the pictures are great. It's over 90 degrees here in Oklahoma, too. Hot! Stay cool. Donnetta

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Lana! These pictures are stunning! I especially love the last one of the Lake - incredible..... You should paint it... And I have never seen a passion flower before. They are amazing!

Lana Gramlich said...

Donnetta; Thanks! I'd never seen a passionflower in "real" life before, so I was VERY excited when Charles pointed these out. You stay cool, too! (I probably won't be leaving the house again until Sept. or Oct., myself. *LOL*)

Michelle; Thank you. :) I've been considering painting the lake picture, actually, but I'm in the middle of 2 paintings right now, so it may have to wait. I also tend to believe that no painting will ever come close to truly portraying natural beauty like this, so I'm somewhat intimidated, but it's definitely worth a shot, at least! Passionflowers are very odd (as Marvin mentioned, above.) They look like something out of Star Trek. I was very pleased that these macro shots came out so well, too!

Erik Donald France said...

Anything with a French name has got my vote ;->

Gorgeous pictures, that last one is just sumptuous!

Sidney said...

Beautiful pics. Sounds like in spite of the heat it was a nice time.

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; Thanks! Between Canada & Louisiana, there's been PLENTY of French in my life. *L*

Sidney; Thank you. Yes, it was a wonderful time. I just wish we could've stayed longer, y'know? By the time we were leaving, they were starting a nature walk on the beach, but we were already overheated by then. 'Tis the season. <:\

JR's Thumbprints said...

The prison horticulture teacher I usually go fishing with grows purple passion flowers at our correctional facility. Such a neat flower ... and there smell!

Lana Gramlich said...

JR; They sure are something else! I may look into planting some in our yard. From what I understand, the birds & other critters will eat the fruit of the plant.

Lisa said...

Wow wow wow, Lana! These photos are so gorgeous! I especially love the one of the lake, with the sunlight reflecting.

I can't wait to see dragonflies this summer, I just love them!

Lana Gramlich said...

Lisa; Thank you. It's typically been quite overcast whenever we go to this park, so to be able to catch the sunset on the lake was a rare treat. There were SO many dragonflies there that day we couldn't help but bump into them as we walked.

Lisa said...

This is the other Lisa -- the photos are gorgeous. I didn't know dragonflies came in so many colors and I've never seen a passionflower! I even think the spider is beautiful -- for some reason they, like rodents don't bug me either. It's the snakesssssssssss that sssssssssscare me :)

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

wow! I love your pictures! I have never seen that flower and the dragonflies are beautiful. My daughter was transfixed! Thanks for sharing!

Lana Gramlich said...

The Other Lisa (*LOL*); Thank you. :) I never saw so many colored dragonflies until I moved to the Southern US, either. They're like flying jewels! The passionflowers here are the first ones I've seen in "real" life, myself. I don't mind spiders & snakes (although I'm allergic to the former.) There are plenty of poisonous snakes in our area, however, so I'm careful around everything.

Health Nut; Thanks for enjoying & taking the time to comment. Glad your daughter enjoyed my photos. :)

rohit said...

hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

you are fantastic!!!

a kiss for you, my dear friend!

god bless u dear

can we exchange our link

r u ready to do?

Billy said...

Beautiful pics from a beautiful park! It's been a while since I've been there.

Lana Gramlich said...

Rohit; Go ahead & link me up if you like, but you don't get a link here unless you're a regular visitor or I really like your blog (which relates to subjects I blog about.)

Billy; Thanks. :) Have you ever been to Big Branch NWR in Lacombe? That's another good one (& a bit closer to you.)

Natural said...

love the spider pic and the sunset pic is so calming. just what i needed. i love it!

Avery DeBow said...

Wow. Beautiful photos. I love those flowers, never seen anything like them.

Britta Coleman said...

AAAGGGHHH spider!

Gorgeous shots, especially the passion flowers. A friend once gave me a rescued vine to plant in my yard, but it didn't take. I would love to have these climbing up a trellis. So beautiful.

Claire said...

WOW! These photographs are lovely :)

I have hopped over from BlogCatalog after reading about your interest in Wales.

I posted some links on that thread to my last hikes, which were in Wales near Snowdon.

:)

Lana Gramlich said...

NW; Thank you! That's the first picture of these spiders I've taken that's ever really come out. They're very hard to shoot, for some reason, even on the macro setting.

Avery; Aren't they cool? Charles is da BOMB for pointing them out. I would've just walked right on past...

Britta; Sorry about the spider, but I assure you he won't do you any harm. *L* Agreed on the trellis--great idea! I think our yard's too wet for them, unfortunately.

Claire; Thanks for popping over & leaving your kind comments. :) I'll get back over to BC later to check out your links--thanks for sharing!

Sandpiper said...

Beautiful pictures! Great dragonflies, and I also like the spider in the web. The passionflowers and sunset are fantastic, too. I've been to Fontainebleau State Park. It's beautiful there.

Lana Gramlich said...

Sandpiper; Thank you. :) There are so many parks, nature centers & conservation areas around us that I count my blessings every day.

Shauna Roberts said...

Great pictures, as usual. And I learned something new: I always thought the different colors of dragonflies were different species.

Lana Gramlich said...

Shauna; Thanks. :) I thought different colors were different species, too, even after consulting my field guides. It wasn't until I researched the pondhawks that I learned of the color discrepancy there!

Larry said...

Those Purple Passionflowers are cool! What's up with the name of that park? What's it mean?I'm not sure that I like the name of that park but I do like your photos.

Lynda Lehmann said...

You got some great insect captures! How do you find them in books to identify them, when there are millions of insect species?

I love the photo of the lake, and the passionflower is gorgeous. I've only seen them in photos!

Sorry to take so long to come over. I am way too spread out on art sites. Hope all is well with you and the next guided hike you try to take will be properly listed! But it looks like you made the best of it!

Lana Gramlich said...

Larry; Thanks! Fontainebleau ("beautiful fountain,") was allegedly named for a forest in France. Here in Louisiana, there's no lack of French names (much like Canada.) It's not only a state park, but a historical site. The ruins of an old sugar mill are here.

Lynda; When my field guides fail me, I post pictures on bugguide.net (there are some very good, helpful people over there!)
This was the first passionflower I've seen in "real" life, myself. So beautiful! Being out in nature always rocks, guided hike or no.
NP on your being spread thin. We all have lives to lead, after all! ;)

Crayons said...

Hi Lana,
Louisiana's nature is fortunate to have such a loving pair of eyes gazing at it. The word for dragonfly in French is "libellule," which I find most enchanting.

You are the only one who got my gesture of banishing the Internet from my home. You said that you lived without TV. I can see that you have a vast imagination and a deep love for the planet. I think we have that in common. I'm hoping that my Net-free life drives me to visit more places like the park that you highlighted.

Sorry to hijack your comments section!

Lana Gramlich said...

Caroline; You're not hijacking anything--your comments are always welcome & appreciated. :)
"Libellule" is very pretty. Thanks for that tidbit!
I'm sure the net-free life will inspire you to get out more & I'm sure you'll benefit from that--personally I think everyone would! Although I'm sure everyone will miss your regular posts, we all have our own lives to lead & the more "life" we put into them the better! Like all time, enjoy net-free time to the fullest. :)

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