Grasshoppers, Dragonflies And Some Other Cool Stuff At Community Park

Grasshoppers, Dragonflies And Some Other Cool Stuff At Community Park

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It’s been a few weeks since I hiked at the local Community Park near my home in Hazle Township. So I took a couple of hikes in the park and around Lake Irena last  week.

When I arrived on both Wednesday  and Friday I was greeted by swarms of grasshoppers and dragonflies darting, flying and jumping near the shore of the lake. 

On Wednesday I didn’t  bring my macro lens along with me.  So I hiked with my zoom lens hoping to see  an eagle, an egret or  any kind of interesting wildlife. No eagles or egrets but I did see my first black squirrel near the baseball field. I had never seen one  in the woods before. It scampered off before I could get anymore photos. 

It was hot, as it often is in late July, with temperatures near 90 both days. The mid summer flowers were now in bloom. Pickerelweed  bloomed  in the waters along the shores of the lake.

The water lily pads, further in the water, were now also starting ot put forth their pretty flowers. 

On shore the steeple bush and

white meadow sweet flowers attracted bees, butterflies and other insects. 

Leaving the lake on Wednesday, I hiked past the ball field, where I saw the black squirrel,  and into the surrounding woodlands. 

Along the way there were some milkweed flowers still in bloom. I believe this is a great spangled fritillary butterfly gathering nectar from the flowers. I have only seen a few butterflies this year and not a single monarch. 

I also found some high bush blueberry bushes along the path. This is the peak season for “swampers”  as we called them. In many past years I would have picked dozens of quarts by now but this year, because of some shoulder issues, I haven’t gotten out for any. 

On my way back to the lake I found these caterpillars on the leaf of a swamp milkweed. 

And these interesting  jack-o-lantern mushrooms. They are poisonous and are noted for its bioluminescence.   I have never seen it glow at night but this  is how it got its name. 

They intense sun made me decide to end my hike. As I walked back I again encountered the dragonflies and grasshoppers . They were everywhere. I knew I’d have to return with my macro lens

And I did ,  on Friday afternoon . Again it was a hot one, temperatures were near 90 degrees. The dragonflies were again darting  along the shores of  the lake. Some landed on the stem of a plant,

a log  

or even a flower  to take a rest. 

I love the many color of these ancient insects.  Sorry I tried to identify them species I observed but it was more difficult than I thought it would be. I admire the people who study and can identify these delicate creatures. 

There were hundreds of them as I walked along the shores of the lake. Most flew off before I could capture a photograph. However, I was able to photograph this one eating one of his distant cousins, a damselfly. 

There were also hundreds of grasshoppers jumping  from leaf to leaf as I walked along the shores of the lake. 

Once again I was surprised at the  many different species that exit in our area. 

It too a lot of effort to get these photos since they are always jumping from leaf to leaf  as soon as I  approached. 

I took a couple of walks around the lake and in addition to the grasshopper and dragonflies I saw a few butterflies, 

a couple of cool spiders,

some bees,

and a variety of beetles and other insects. 

As I searched for the insects, I found a few more  flowers in bloom, such as the pretty marsh St’ Johns wort, 

this hawkweed, 

and touch-me nots.

I also found some of these interesting indian pipes or ghost pipes. The interesting plants do not produce chlorophyll. They  have parasitic relationship with fungi, which has a parasitic relationship with trees roots.  They also are a medicinal plant. Native Americans used them to relieve pain and many other ailments. 

There was so much to see in this small area, but, the afternoon sun had me exhausted and it was time to leave the many inhabitants of the insect world.  This is a link to a gallery with more photos of the grasshoppers, dragonflies and other insects I saw on my hike. Community Park insects July 24 2020

Once again I was able to discover some more of the beauty of nature, and just a few miles from my home. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hikes in Community park this past week Community Park hike July 21, 24 2020.

Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education.



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