Terry & Diana's
Photography and More

MINNESOTA, JULY 2010

July 6: Diana, Juanita, and I headed for Gunnison, Colorado to drop off Juanita at Diana's sister's house. We were planning to travel to Minnesota for a combination of photography and site seeing. Neither one of use had ever been in that area of the country. We arrived in Gunnison on the 7th of July. All of Diana's sister's family was there having a reunion.

July 8: I went up to Ohio Pass northwest of Gunnison to check on some beaver ponds for odes. No luck but saw some beautiful country.

Gunnison Basin, Gunnison, Colorado near my sistor-in-laws house.

Colorado: Gunnison County, Ohio Pass road north of Gunnison

Colorado: Gunnison County, Ohio Pass road north of Gunnison. Below are a few plants and animals I saw along the way.

Helianthella quinquenervis (Aspen Sunflower) and Geranium caespitosum (Pineywoods Geranium)

Lupinus argenteus (Silvery Lupine) and Least Chipmunk

Thamnophis elegans (Wandering Gartersnake)

White-crowned Sparrow and Yellow Warbler

Enallagma boreale (Boreal Bluet) and Enallagma annexum (Northern Bluet)

Amphiagrion abbreviatum (Western Red Damsel) and Lestes dryas (Emerald Spreadwing)

 

July 9: Diana and I got up early and headed for Nebraska. Stopped at three spots before leaving Colorado. Monarch Pass, Castle Rock Gulch in Chaffe Co., and Wacker Fishing Ponds in Morgan Co.

Monarch Pass

Thamnophis elegans (Wandering Gartersnake) and Amphiagrion abbreviatum (Western Red Damsel)
at Castle Rock Gulch.

Argia vivida (Vivid Dancer) and Enallagma anna (River Bluet) at Castle Rock Gulch.

Ischnura perparva (Western Forktail) and Ophiogomphus severus (Pale Snaketail) at Castle Rock Gulch.

Libellula pulchella (Twelve-spotted Skimmer) and Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer) at Castle Rock Gulch.

Anaxyrus woodhousii (Woodhouse's Toad) and Hetaerina americana (American Rubyspot) at Wacker Ponds

Enallagma antennatum (Rainbow Bluet) at Wacker Ponds.

July 10 - After spending the night at a Motel 8 in Sterling Colorado, we traveled north toward Cherry County, Nebraska. Stopped at a roadside park on the Dismal River, Thomas Co., NE 12.

On the road in Nebraska

On the road in Nebraska.

Anax junius (Common Green Darner) and Sympetrum obtrusum (White-faced Meadowhawk). This was the start of seeing the highest concentration of dragonflies that I have ever seen. Each stop in Nebraska we would see 100's maybe 1000's.

We stopped briefly at the southern border of Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Cherry County. Saw several dragonflies and damselflies at this location.

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Cherry County

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Cherry County

Photographing odes at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.

Lestes unguiculatus (Lyre-tipped Spreadwing) and Aeshna constricta (Lance-tipped Darner)

Anax junius (Common Green Darner) and Rhionaeschna multicolor (Blue-eyed Darner)

We then spent a couple of hours at Smith Falls State Park on the Niobrara River. We had planned to camp there but all the camp sites were full.

Smith Falls State Park, Cherry County

Smith Falls State Park, Cherry County

Aeshna constricta (Lance-tipped Darner)

Aeshna interrupta (Variable Darner) and Sympetrum semicinctum (Band-winged Meadowhawk)

Headed for South Dakota to spend the night at motel in Winner. On the way we drove through a very intense hail storm. No damage to car.

Winner, South Dakota. We were glad that we decided for a motel this night.

Storms all around tonight.

July 11 - Got up early and headed for Minnesota. Stopped briefly at a couple spots to take photos.

Missouri River breaks in Gregory County, South Dakota off of I-90

Lithobates pipiens (Northern Leopard Frog) I-90 rest stop in South Dakota at exit 360.

Lestes congener (Spotted Spreadwing) and Lestes unguiculatus (Lyre-tipped Spreadwing) at marsh off of I-90 rest stop in South Dakota exit 360.

Enallagma hageni (Hagen's Bluet) and Ischnura verticalis (Eastern Forktail) at marsh off of I-90 rest stop in South Dakota exit 360.

Arrived at Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone County, Minnesota at 11:30 am. We stayed until 1:00 pm. Interesting place.

Example of the farming country near Pipestone.

A few photos from Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone County, Minnesota. Pipestone is mined here by the local Native Americans for making all kinds of stuff.

Black-eyed Coneflower and Fragile Cactus (Opuntia fragilis)

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

Banning State Park, Pine County south of Duluth, Minnesota. We got camp set up before dark. The mosquitoes were pretty bad.

July 12 - Banning State Park, Pine County, trails and boat ramp at Kettle River put in.

Kettle River and surrounding area of Banning State Park, Pine County, Minnesota.

Calopteryx aequabilis (River Jewelwing) and Lestes inaequalis (Elegant Spreadwing)

Nehalennia irene (Sedge Sprite) and Leucorrhinia intacta (Dot-tailed Whiteface)

Duluth High School. I thought this school had a lot more character than the schools I have seen in Texas.

Twin Habor Lighthouse, Lake County

Ring-billed Gull at the Lighthouse

Sand Lake in Lake County

Nehalennia irene (Sedge Sprite) and Ladona julia (Chalk-fronted Corporal)

Our stop for the next couple of days is McDougel Lake campground in Lake County, Superior National Forest.

July 13 - McDougal Lake Campground. We really enjoyed our stay at this site. Lots of dragonflies and damselflies, and birds.

McDougel Lake, Superior National Forest, Lake County

Stony River exiting McDougel Lake

Water Lily and Black-capped Chickadee

Chestnut-sided Warbler and White-tailed Deer (They sure are big in Minnesota)

Lithobates clamitans (Green Frog) and Lestes disjunctus (Northern Spreadwing)

Enallagma hagani (Hagan's Bluet) and Dromogomphus spinosus (Black-shouldered Spinylegs)

Hagenius brevistylus (Dragonhunter) and Ladona julia (Chalk-fronted Corporal)

Leucorrhinia glacialis (Crimson-ringed Whiteface) and Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)

July 14 - We woke up to storms moving in, so we packed up and headed north. Stopped at Best Western over looking Lake Sperior in Grand Marais. We also drove up to Grand Portage National Monument to look around. Washed clothes and cleaned up.

Lake Superior near Grand Marais, Cook County

July 15 - We headed up Cook County road 12 and stopped at various places along the way. Searched Elbow Lake, Kimbal, Trout, and Mink Lakes. We drove down FR 306 and then FR 306c between Mink Lake and Trout Lake. Lots of darners flying up and down the road. Hiked to a beaver pond at the end of FR 306c. Saw a few species here. Checked out camp grounds along the way. Finally decided on Four Lake campground.

Ruffed Grouse hen

Me at the beaver pond

Aeshna canadensis (Canada Darner)

Aeshna eremita (Lake Darner) and Gomphus spicatus (Dusky Clubtail)

Leucorrhinia frigida (Frosted Whiteface) and Leucorrhinia glacialis (Frosted Whiteface)

Leucorrhinia hudsonica (Hudsonian Whiteface) and Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)

July 16 - Camped at Four Lake campground. While Diana was still sleeping, I got up to bird watch and looked around.

American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatch

We then retraced our path from the day before to see what else we could find in the area.

Another Ruffed Grouse hen

Cordulia shurtleffii (American Emerald) and Somatochlora elongata (Ski-tipped Emerald)

Polites themistocles (Tawny-edged Skipper) and Gomphus exilis (Lancet Clubtail)

Shore line of Lake Superior across from Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls

Fire Weed

We stopped for the night at Temporance River Campground near jct of FR 164 and CoRd 2. This turned out to be a very site for odes.

Anaxyrus americanus (American Toad)

Boyeria grafiana (Ocellated Darner) male and female

July 17 - We spent all morning on the Temporance River.

Temporance River

Ophiogomphus carolus (Riffle Snaketail) female and male

Ophiogomphus carolus (Riffle Snaketail) males

Gomphus exilis (Lancet Clubtail) and Snowshoe Hare

Four Mile Lake

Four Mile Creek

Calopteryx aequabilis (River Jewelwing)

Somatochlora williamsoni (Williamson's Emerald) female

Sympetrum semicinctum (Band-winged Meadowhawk) and Dromogomphus spinosus (Black-shouldered Spinylegs)

Cross River. My favorite spot on the trip.

Hagenius brevistylus (Dragonhunter) and Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis (Rusty Snaketail)

Ophiogomphus colubrinus (Boreal Snaketail) and Lithobates clamitans (Green Frog)

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Poplar River. This was a good rocky clear river.

Calopteryx aequabilis (River Jewelwing) and Gomphus viridifrons (Green-faced Clubtail)

Ophiogomphus colubrinus (Boreal Snaketail)

Got back to our Temporance River campground around 6:00 pm.

July 18 - We packed up and headed south and then east into Wisconsin. We drove back roads looking for odes and anything else we could find. We stopped once again at McDougel Lake boat ramp to see if I could get a Horned Clubtail. No clubtail but did get a new meadowhawk.

Sympetrum costiferum (Saffron-winged Meadowhawk)

Stopped in Ashland, Wisconsin at the Super 8 motel for the night.

July 19 - Visited Northern Great Lakes visitor center. Headed into Chequamegon National Forest. We stopped at Beaver Lake and Potter's Lake.

Black-capped Chickadee and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Northern Great Lakes visitor center.

Nymphalis milberti (Milbert's Tortoise Shell)

Potter's Lake, Ashland County

Lithobates clamitans (Green Frog) and Leucorrhinia proxima (Belted Whiteface)

Mellen High, Ashland County, Wisconsin. Another nice looking school

Camped at Stockfarm Bridge Campground on East Fork of Chippewa River. Beautiful place but the mesquitoes were the worst than any place we had been this trip. We had to get in the tent before dark.

July 20 - Cloudy, rainy, and mesquitoes. We headed for Park Falls to eat breakfast and looked for rocky streams in the area on our way to Mellen and Copper Falls State Park.

Copper Falls State Park, Ashland County

Morgan Falls, Ashland County

A floating sphagmum bog in Sawyer County.

Stopped at Black Lake campground to camp for the night.

July 21 - I looked around for awhile before leaving Black Lake campground.

Found a pair of Common Loons on Black Lake

Lestes inaequalis (Elegant Spreadwing) at Black Lake

We jumped around a lot before leaving the area. One our stops was Smith Rapids Horse Camp and Smith Rapids covered bridge over Flambeau River.

Covered Bridge over Flambeau River at Smith Rapids Horse Camp.

Flower at Flambeau River, Smith Rapids Horse camp.

Lestes rectangularis (Slender Spreadwing) and Aeshna tuberculifera (Black-tipped Darner)

Somatochlora minor (Ocellated Emerald) fed on mesquitoes around my legs.

On the way to Kathryn Lake campground, we stopped briefly at Jerry Lake, Taylor County.

Lithobates pipiens (Northern Leopard Frog) found at Jerry Lake, Taylor County

Ambystoma maculata (Spotted Salamander) found at Jerry Lake, Taylor County

We didn't like the campground at Kathryn Lake, so we got a Motel 8 in Neillsville.

July 22 - Woke up to rain. We washed cloths and headed southwest. Finally got out of the rain Winona, Minnesota. Passed through some of the prettiest farming country ever. We stopped at Pickerel Lake Park south of Albert Lea on Twin Lakes, Freeborn County.

Chrysemys picta ( Painted Turtle)

Enallagma aspersum (Azure Bluet) and Enallagma carunculatum (Tule Bluet) According to the records I found the Azure Bluet was a new state record.

Stopped for the night at Marble Beach State Park on Big Spirit Lake. Not the best place to camp.

July 23 - After breakfast we headed into Iowa. Stopped at Jim Hall Habitat area, Emmet County near Graettinger. Was an excellent area for birds but not many species of dragonflies and damselflies.

Lestes unguiculatus (Lyre-tipped Spreadwing) and Ischnura verticalis (Eastern Forktail)

Leucorrhinia intacta (Dot-tailed Whiteface) and Sympetrum obtrusum (White-faced Meadowhawk)

We stopped at several other places along the way to Nebraska. Lost Island Lake, Clay Co., Dan Green Slough, Clay Co., lunch at South Sioux City at Chrystal Cove Park. We decided to get motel in O'Neal, Nebraska due to the fact that it looked like rain.

July 24 - We headed west back to Valentine and the Niobrara River. On the way we stopped at old gravel and sand pits near Stuart on US 20.

Anaxyrus americanus (American Toad)

American Goldfinch and Eastern Kingbird

Lestes rectangularis (Slender Spreadwing) and Sympetrum corruptum (Variegated Meadowhawk)

Stopped at Keller State Park on US 183 north of US 20. This is a very nice place to camp. We need to keep this place in mine the next time we go to this area. It has a good sized creek and several fishing ponds.

Chrysemys picta (Painted Turtle) and Enallagma geminatum (Skimming Bluet)

Ophiogomphus severus (Pale Snaketail) and Libellula pulchella (Twelve-spotted Skimmer)

Our next stop west was Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge near Valentine.

Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, near Valentine, Cherry County.

Argia emma (Emma's Dancer) and Argia fumipennis (Variable Dancer)

Stopped for the night at Steer Creek Campground in the Samuel B. McKenzie National Forest south of US 20 at the end of 516F. At dusk the darners (dragonflies) were flying in a big swarm. Diana and I tried to collect as many as we could to see how many different kinds there were. Cherry County

Diana trying to catch dratonflies at Steer Creek campground, Cherry County

Aeshna canadensis (Canada Darner) and Aeshna constricta (Lance-tipped Darner)

Aeshna interrupta (Variable Darner) and Rhionaeschna muliticolor (Blue-eyed Darner) female

Opuntia fragilis (Fragile Prickly Pear)

July 25 - Looked around a little more before leaving Steer Creek Campground. We then headed southwest back toward Colorado. Stopped at few places along the way.

Lithobates pipiens (Northern Leopard Frog) at one of our stops.

Courthouse Rock and Jail House Rock, Merril County in western Nebraska

Stopped at a rest area: Goshen County, Wyoming on US 85 near Meriden. There were several species of dragonflies here. It was a long ways from water?

Ophiogomphus severus (Pale Snaketail) and Rhionaeschna multicolor (Blue-eyed Darner)

Sympetrum semicinctum (Band-winged Meadowhawk) and Sympetrum pallipes (Striped Meadowhawk)

We spent the night at Peaceful Valley Campgroung in Boulder Count off of Colorado 72.

July 26 - After breakfast we headed for Gunnison. We stopped at several sites along the way. The first spot was Wocott Scenic Area on US 70 almost to Co 131 in Eagle County.

Red Fox doing what they do.

Argia vivida (Vivid Dancer) and Ischnura cervula (Pacific Forktail)

Vail, Eagle County, Colorado showing much damage to trees due to beetle infestation.

View south from Glenwood, Colorado

Opuntia polyacantha (North Plains Prickly Pear) near Glenwood

McClure Campground, White River National Forest

Amphiagrion abbreviatum (Western Red Damsel)

Unidentified flower and Monk's Cap

Trying to find odes to photograph. No luck

Kebler Pass, Gunnison County west of Crested Butte

Got to Diana's sister's house in Gunnison after stopping at couple more spots. Pick up grandma for the trip home.

July 27 - Left Becky's early to head for home. Stopped at Russell Lakes Wildlife Refuge again to check out odes.

Amphiagrion abbreviatum (Western Red Damsel) female

See if you can tell the difference between the three species of bluets below.

Enallagma civile (Familiar Bluet)

Enallagma clausum (Alkali Bluet)

Enallagma carunculatum (Tule Bluet)

Stopped at motel in Lubbock, visited with Kim.

July 28 - Headed for home.