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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:07 AM   #1
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Default Beetles & Damsels & more...

Yesterday was a busy day out on the trail and with school groups. But still a few moments to capture some of the feeling of early autumn in the East Tennessee hills.

Predawn moonlight painted an interesting view of our park lake...
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:09 AM   #2
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Later in the day, noticed some whirligig beetles along the shore. Some folks call them "apple bugs," because they give off an apple-like scent when scared. Sure is fun to watch them swimming along the surface!
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:12 AM   #3
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It's getting towards the end of our dragonfly/damselfly season, but still some late season species emerging. Must have been a big hatch of American Rubyspot Damseflies lately - saw a lot of them along the shore.

Just for fun, here is the same species taken with three different lenses. Not a very fair comparison, due to differences in lighting, etc. But was surprised to see the differences. (First 2 with A 70-210, next with Tamron 18-250, last with Sigma APO 70-300).
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:13 AM   #4
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And, for comparison, here's a shot of the female of the species:
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:14 AM   #5
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One of my favorite groups of fall flowers are the Asters. Aster means "liittle star," a good description of their blooms. Looking forward to even more species coming into bloom soon.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:16 AM   #6
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Fall is also beetle season! Here are some flower beetles enjoying feverfew pollen (and each other), and a few views of a Locust Longhorn Beetle in the goldenrods. These beetles are bee mimics - it sure is fun to watch how they scare school kids!
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:18 AM   #7
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Autumn sunshine also brings out the snakes - enjoying a few last "sunbaths" before the cooler weather moves in. Here's a very cooperative corn snake.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:19 AM   #8
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Expecting some good rain and cooler weather moving in soon - maybe will start the leaves turning!!

Thanks for looking, and for any comments & critique!
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:20 AM   #9
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I think you have a wonderful job educating people on the joys of the wilderness. Chasing the dollar may be great for some but I imagine the richness of your quality of life and the job satisfaction gives you a far more rewarding life.

That A70-210 really seems to shine (I will soon have delivery of a FA 70-210 - are there any similarities) ?

Apple Bugs ? Sound delicious !

Oops too quick again - that problem has reappeared though, only 10% of the photo loads and the rest is greyed out.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 7:35 AM   #10
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Just gorgeous! I particularly love the last 2 snake photo's.

Wish I could find something half as pretty around here, all I keep finding is the same old bugs and flowers...
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