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Monday, July 20, 2015

More odonates; less mosquitoes

Works for me. Maybe I shouldn't have been so hasty to credit the gambusias with keeping the mosquito population down. The dragonflies might have a lot to do with it.

Arrived at CMO around 8 AM, all revved to get that tank drained. At 8 PM I turned the pumps off. Less than a foot left in the shallow end and about 4' in the deep end. I found a leak in the area that has always had the leak problem. Was going to patch it tomorrow when I'm fresh, but it was sprinkling a bit, dark, and lightning, so even though I could barely see, I got in there and patched it. I plan on doing better tomorrow, but at least if by some fluke the tank fills in the night, it might be sealed well enough that I don't have to drain it again.

On this next photo I'm looking down into the tank from above the leak. That's the water in the tank bottom on the left side. I couldn't see good and the camera obviously took a blurry shot.


Here it is after I patched it, but I couldn't see if it's still seeping through or not so will coat it again in the morning after banding. I measured the tank level and if it doesn't go down any in the night I'll start putting water back into it. If it does go down any, I'll keep pumping and looking for leaks.


I mistakenly thought I got rain at CMO last night and wouldn't need to water today, but eventually figured out my mistake. My sister called me in town last night and told me she got .6" so I had expected to have about the same. Checking my gauge the water was at the 6th marker so I considered I got the same. But things didn't make sense. Plants were wilted. No water in the house rain barrel. I put two and two together and realized that our gauge in town is actual. But mine at CMO is different. The whole tube would have to be full for it to be an inch and there was around half an inch in the gauge but it just registered .06"  Bummer.

So while I babysat the pumps, I watered. And lugged my Canon around with me. Since I didn't have allergies (must have been the fix-a-flat) and since the mosquitoes were tolerable for the most part, I took a few photos. Remember back in February (post of Feb.10)  I planted some dead twigs in the wildlife pond where I wanted to photograph dragonflies this summer. Where the lighting, distance, etc would be optimal. Well, the odes love it.


Nothing very exciting has landed there but they seem to fight over the perch. I had thought by summer those dead needles (or whatever cypress has) would have fallen off by now, but they're still on there. It creates that  salmon colored background on some of the photos.

Male Flame Skimmer

Male Roseate Skimmer

Sitting at another of my viewing spots (big tank spillway) I was trying to get 4 species on the same photo. I thought sure I had it but the Roseate Skimmer was too fast. That's the pink blur at the bottom of the photo. Top is Desert Firetail, then Thornbush Dasher, and I don't know the blue mating damselflies. Maybe Powdered Dancers.

Remember June 26 (see post for that day) when I replaced the broken rope to the submersible pump in the stucco tank? Well today it stopped working, because it was bogged down in mud. If I hadn't had the new rope on it I couldn't have pulled it up out of the mud. It pays to stay on top of things. Of course, since I happened to be pumping out the stucco tank it didn't matter. When the water got out I could have just waded in to pick up the pump. But better to be prepared.

I don't want Bryan to feel neglected so will post a butterfly from today for him. It's a Chinati Checkerspot playing in the mud. Butterfly numbers are slowly climbing. I think it'll be a good season for them. Everything is blooming.

 

The yellow is senna wislizeni; the red is anisacanthus; the white is kidneywood. Last is the cenizo (Texas Ranger.) 

UPDATE: I posted a dragonlet photo on a facebook odonate group today that I thought was a Plateau Dragonlet. The experts on the site informed me it's a Red-faced Dragonlet. Lifer for me!!!



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