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Pictures of the Day

Fred Yost
May 27, 2013
Guest Artist Week: Fred Yost is the fisheries biologist here at the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery and an extraordinary photographer. His close-up pictures of these tiny pussy willow flowers are so stunning we had to share them. 










Insects drawn from an old manuscript - prismacolor pencils, black ink layered with a mammogram of leaves
(click to enlarge)

Insects drawn from an old manuscript - prismacolor pencils, black ink layered with a  mammogram of leaves

Google Places and Platypie

Bugging Out

August 20, 2013

For some time, I have been meaning to post a piece about bugs. You know, bugs that have bugged me. They have caused temporary blindness, unbearable itching, sleepless nights, wrenching fear of disease, legs and feet on fire, appalling swellings about my nose and cheeks and a slapping, batting variation of St. Vitus’ Dance (known as the Maine wave).

There is always an open debate as to which is the worst insect with whom I am on intimate terms. The fire ant, who bites in circles and injects poison into my feet making my legs swell like an advanced case of elephantiasis... or the no-see-ums (know as a Ninja here is Maine) who set up a personal residence way below the lower rim of my eyeball, causing swelling, redness, watering and blurred vision.

The dreaded fire ant wins!  Oh the horror! The pain!

Damn them all was always my motto, and then I met Fred: A fish biologist by profession, a birder by avocation, and for us, an entomologist supreme.

What’s not to like about a guy who sends an invitation to celebrate National Moth Week with him?

Thanks to him we now have a new macro lens and can be seen on any sunny afternoon chasing through fields and swamps searching for bugs to photograph. Fred, a patient and talented photographer, leads the way. He is lean, fast and has a keen eye for the tiniest movement amongst the weeds... He is teaching us how to spot various dragon and damsel flies paused on stalks and wildflowers. According to Fred,  in August, when the birds get quiet, the dragonflies take center stage.

Dragonflies are so very lovely... beautiful colors, slim, graceful bodies... they are the runway models of the insect world.

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In the late afternoon they sit about a bit and we have been able to photograph a few. Once they do fly though, they fly quickly, hover, dive, and pivot in the blink of an eye. Each wing can move independently and their heads are almost all eyes.

We now know the difference between a Meadow Hawk and a Shadow Darner.

Sadly, most of our photos so far have been taken from the point of view of a shoe about to crush the tiny insect. Hopefully we will improve. As my grandfather would say, “Patience, Margaret Ann, patience.”

Just fabulous! I am so happy that you are so tuned in to nature. I used to watch the Dragonflies and Doodlebugs on the rivers that crisscrossed J?ek??ru, where I spent the summers in my youth. There were also grass snakes, millions of frogs, all kinds of rodents, rabbits and those pesky groundhogs. Of course, we had to learn to somehow co-exist with the flies and mosquitoes. My parents had a big unscreened patio in front of the cottage on which stood a rather large picnic table and a rotisserie barbecue. On Saturday afternoons a huge chunk of meat was going round and round on the rotisserie, which naturally attracted friends from near and far. Before they arrived and dinner was served, my mother would take a fly swatter, walk around the patio, and kill as many flies as she could. I never understood her logic, but I guess there was method in her madness.


Dragonflies and grasshoppers also make wonderful bait for fishing! I have fond memories of my brother and I chasing after grasshoppers and him shooting dragonflies with his bb gun at our grandparent's lake!


Gorgeous images of bugs and especially, dragon flies. Your interests are varied and ongoing - so nice to try to keep up via the web. How much more time at the hatchery?


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