Rickett’s Glen State Park

John, his daughter Brianna and i visited Rickett’s Glen State Park in Benton, Pennsylvania on July 8th. My great-niece Camryn had her 1st birthday party at the lake there. It was a gorgeous day with gentle winds and cooler temperatures after days of 100 degree weather!

Rickett’s Glen is known for its hiking trails and waterfalls! We had a really nice time exploring the woods and the trails. I hope you all enjoy the photos!

Click here if interested in learning more about this beautiful place!


What is an Entomologist?

I am totally and utterly amazing at this photo! I tried all the different settings, Macro, Supermacro, flash on, flash off…I took probably a dozen photos of the nymph today. All blurry. And you, future entomologist, Math Whiz, Monarch Butterfly Watcher, YOU take this FANTASTIC CLOSEUP OF THE GREEN DARNER NYMPH! ARGGHHH! I am so impressed with your photo and so frustrated with my lack of photographic skills. *sigh* Nonetheless, here is your photo, Malachi. Truly amazing. And a photo of you as we get ready to move our 2nd 12-spotted skimmer to a safe place for the evening. I hope the weather is better tomorrow and we can release her. I hope for some sunshine. I hope…

Our First Dragonfly!


This beautiful, twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella) emerged in our classroom on April 29! If you look closely, you can see the shell/instar/exoskeleton of the nymph. Dragonflies prefer to emerge at night. The previously aquatic nymph (also called a naiad) climbs out of the water and finds a safe place. It then goes through the final stage of its incomplete metamorphosis. The nymph’s exoskeleton will split and the adult dragonfly will begin to emerge. John and I observed emerging blue dasher dragonflies last summer in our pond. It can take from a few minutes up to a few hours for this process to be complete! After the dragonfly emerges, it will cling to the shell of the nymph and allow its wings to dry. After a few hours, the dragonfly’s wings are dry and it can fly away!

Malachi and I released our skimmer at the swamp. I hope she is doing well and is eating many mosquitoes!

If you have any questions about dragonflies, please post them here. I am no expert, but hopefully I can give you good answer!

Blue Dasher Photo #2

Here is the dragonfly after it has completely emerged, its wings are fully open and dry. You can see the instar or shedding that it has left behind. The blue dashers we watched emerging this summer all completed this process at night. Why do you think they emerge at night instead of during the day?
Dragonfly metamorphosis is different from butterfly metamorphosis.
Click here to learn about incomplete metamorphosis!Scroll down about 1/2 way and you will learn how it is different. What stage is missing in the incomplete metamorphosis?

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