the hot weather was perfect for naturing. i tried to pick a place i haven't been to before, but i've exhausted most of my options, especially those that're nearby. so i decided to revisit the assabet preserve, since i had a lot of luck getting good dragonfly photos the last time i went. i walked all the way into the heart of the reservation (on paved access roads slowly being swallowed up by the forest) before i started to feel i went too far and retraced my steps all the way back out.

last year it was all about frogs: anytime i went out naturing, i'd see them. this year it's all about dragonflies. so far, what've we learned about them? for one thing, most of the time males and females of the same species don't look alike. i have a hard time distinguishing the difference out in the field, and it's usually when i get back home, looking through the guides, that i figure out two different looking dragonflies are actually the same. today there were still a few large dragonflies, but since my last visit, there seems to be a lot more calico pennants and amberwings.

calico pennant (m)

calico pennant (f)

amberwing (f)

pondhawk (f)

widow skimmer (m)


i keep on searching for monarch butterfly caterpillars everytime i come across some milkweed, but so far i haven't seen any activity, not even a single monarch butterfly. the only ones visiting the milkweed (besides all the bees) were great spangled fritillaries and painted ladies, and some striped hairstreaks.

great spangled fritillary

painted lady

striped hairstreak

i can't be sure but i might've even seen an eastern bluebird. i saw a small bird fly out from a field and into some trees, a flash of blue catching my eye. i could see it up in the trees, but only a silhouette, as it sang a song. when i got back home i compared it to a sampling on enature, and it sounded the same but i can't be sure.

i stopped at my parents' place (nobody was home) to take a shower, before going to arlington where my family was having dinner at my aunt and uncle's new house. i was out in their terraced backyard when i found a newly emerged beetle drying itself off on a rock. minutes later i was back inside having dinner. (sorry for the unappetizing juxtaposition).

i came back home, and hours passed before i noticed the scab on my leg. that's funny, i don't remember that happening. turns out it wasn't a scab, but rather a tiny tick attached to my skin. i went into the bathroom and pulled it out rather effortlessly. it didn't seem like it'd bitten me, but then i saw a glob of blood from where it was previously attached. ticks are a total turn off.