Jordan Dam Critters
 
The monarch butterflies are migrating and this morning at the dam I had more than a dozen flit past me, all heading south.
 
 
The veins are so well defined on the wings of this common buckeye butterfly.
 
 
And, so, when is a butterfly, not a butterfly?
For the answer: study these next two photos…
 
 
When the flying insect is a grasshopper.  How about the elegance in those wings!!

I realized this evening that I have been concentrating on water, water, flooding water everywhere.
So, let’s catch up with some of the other events in the Jordan Lake Dam Neighborhood.
 
While trying to catch the fog lifting above the long leaf pine meadow, a flock of double-crested cormorants graced the rising sun.
 
 
A fledgling bald eagle, one of this year’s babies, seemed to challenge the sun and flew into the east.
 
 
Here is an adult bald eagle, very intent on something way across the main lake, near where the Haw River joins the Middle Creek.
 
 
If her stout beak had not protruded way past the clump of leaves where she perched, I would have missed the female belted kingfisher.
 
 
And then there are the small winged creatures, like this common buckeye butterfly, that try to sense if I am to be avoided or dismissed.

JL Bald Eagle Nests this morning:
First Nest and H&G Nest looked fine.
Ranger Nest has lost a limb from the side of the nest – we will have to see if the rest of the nest holds through the storm.
I am not surprised that I did not see any of the parent eagles as they are all perched in safe places out of my sight.
I did take a moment to photograph this swallowtail butterfly.
May the butterfly bring a moment of light into all the grey outside our windows.
It will be part of what I call my Palette Series as I have taken artistic license with the beauty of the butterfly.
Stay Safe, whether you are in the storm path or not.
Peace and Grace, Doc Ellen

I always have so much of Jordan Lake that I want to share!
My emphasis for my media time is usually on the bird life – in particular the raptors.
But by no means do I miss opportunities to photograph the other lives at Jordan Lake.
 
So, this is part 1 for the current catchup: critters without feathers.
 
Meet the official North Carolina Reptile: the Eastern Box Turtle
This beautiful box turtle strolled out from under my truck as I was packing up to leave one morning.
I picked him up and carried him, in the same direction he was headed, to an area in the woods off the edge of the parking lot.
 
 
The Imperial Moth was well-named: this one was wider than my hand. 
 They get to be about 4” across in their wingspan.
 
 
The Sleepy Orange butterfly.
If the photo was of this butterfly with his wings out flat, you would see the “orange” of its name.
 
 
The Swamp Cicada.
This noise maker is an annual cicada: they appear every year.  Some cicada species appear every 13 or 17 years.
I really like its brilliant green wing veins.
 
 
The Deep Yellow Euchlaena moth.
The angles in the wing structure and the curves in the color patterns make an interesting and pleasing contrast.
 
 
Skink tail bling!
Notice that I did not name the specie.
Without a clear photo of the side of the face of a skink, I have no way to know if this is a five-lined skink or an immature broad-headed skink.