On my walk around Ward’s Pond last week, I saw a pair of hungry baby robins eagerly awaiting food from their parents.
The Pond’s boardwalk, which had been shut down for years, has been re-opened. According to the July 22 edition of Boston’s City Record, the 250-foot boardwalk was damaged by storms in 2010. Its restoration by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, to the tune of $111,000, was funded through FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Assistance Fund and the Mayor’s Capital Plan.
Large stands of native jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) grew near the boardwalk.
An interesting property of jewelweed leaves is that they repel water. So, rather than wetting the leaf, rainwater will often form droplets on top of it. Sometimes these droplets form at the leaf’s edges, making for a great photo-op.
I also found some forget-me-not flowers (Myosotis scorpioides) near the boardwalk. This plant with its tiny blue-and-white flowers is native to Eurasia but has found its way from gardens to places like Ward’s Pond.
I saw water-lily (Nymphaea odorata) flowering here in early June. The blooms are still going strong.
Quite a few dragonflies were buzzing about. I saw a few immature male common pondhawks. Mature males have a blue thorax, while young males are literally green in the belly.
I saw two kinds of dragonflies for the first time, although both of them are commonly found in our area. An eastern amberwing rested on a log butt-up. According to a University of Wisconsin site, they rest in this position so as to avoid direct contact with the sun across most of their body.
A slaty skimmer took a break on a shrub branch. These dragonflies are mostly bluish-black. (Thanks to Henry Burton for the ID.)
I see eastern forktail damselflies at just about every pond I visit. But this is my first photo of an old female. Young females start out orange and turn blue with age.
Black-and-yellow mud daubers were scouting out mud where a stream leads north into the next pond. These wasps had less yellow on their backs than the ones I had seen around Jamaica Pond.
A thread-waisted wasp (Eremnophila aureonotata) was scouring out the path and then flew to a nearby leaf. Like the mud daubers, these wasps have abdomens that are connected to the rest of their body by a small tube. They have silver patches on each shoulder. This video shows one such wasp preparing a nest and stuffing it with a paralyzed caterpillar.
I thought I had found yet another species of wasp, but bugguide user Ilona pointed out my mistake. This is a sawfly, Onycholyda luteicornis. I couldn’t find much information about this insect.
Finally, I found a pair of mating robber flies. Herschel Raney identified them as Laphria canis. They were so busy in the act of mating that they stayed still for a long time. I’ll have to catch these guys later and see what kinds of insects they prey on.