Partially bloomed pink-flowered plant, another meadow close-up

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Photo by Chris Bosak Flower partially in bloom in meadow property of Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Flower partially in bloom in meadow property of Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

 

Small grasshopper, another meadow close-up

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Photo by Chris bosak Small grasshopper in meadow property of Darien Land Trust.

Photo by Chris bosak
Small grasshopper in meadow property of Darien Land Trust.

Flower ready to burst, another meadow close-up

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Photo by Chris Bosak A flower ready to go into full bloom at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust in summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A flower ready to go into full bloom at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust in summer 2013.

Sulphur butterfly, another meadow close-up

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Photo by Chris Bosak A sulphur butterfly sips nectar from a flower in a Darien meadow.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A sulphur butterfly sips nectar from a flower in a Darien meadow.

First of many, many meadow close-up photos

My most recent For the Birds column explains a local adventure I undertook last summer photographing in macro mode the many meadows of the Darien Land Trust. From now until the end of August I will post daily one of the photographs from that close-up adventure.

Here’s the column with further explanation: A (very) close-up view of our meadows

And here’s the first of many photos:

Plant hopper in Mather Meadows in Darien, CT. Photo by Chris Bosak

Plant hopper in Mather Meadows in Darien, CT. Photo by Chris Bosak

What do Purple Martins eat?

Photo by Chris Bosak Purple Martins (female on left) perch near their gourd colony with dragonflies at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn., in summer 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Purple Martins (female on left) perch near their gourd colony with dragonflies at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn., in summer 2014.

People love Purple Martins because the birds eat mosquitoes. Clearly that’s not all they eat — in fact, they eat far fewer mosquitoes than people think . Usually their prey is much larger.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Purple Martin swallows a dragonfly at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn., in summer 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Purple Martin swallows a dragonfly at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn., in summer 2014.

Last week, while attending a banding event at Sherwood Island State Park, I watched as the busy adult Purple Martins flew around and perched at the gourd colony. Without question, the main meal on the menu for these martins was dragonflies. Dragonflies are known as superb fliers and hunters of mosquitoes themselves, but they were no match for these determined Purple Martin parents. Some of the martins even brought back small butterflies to eat.

 

Photo by Chris Bosak A volunteer from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds a young Purple Martin while she identifies the age during a Purple Martin banding event held Thursday, July 10, 2014, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn.,

Photo by Chris Bosak
A volunteer from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds a young Purple Martin while she identifies the age during a Purple Martin banding event held Thursday, July 10, 2014, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn.,

Purple Martins banded at Sherwood Island

Photo by Chris Bosak A volunteer from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds a young Purple Martin while she identifies the age during a Purple Martin banding event held Thursday, July 10, 2014, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn.,

Photo by Chris Bosak
A volunteer from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds a young Purple Martin while she identifies the age during a Purple Martin banding event held Thursday, July 10, 2014, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn.,

Sometimes fun news assignments come across our offices at The Hour newspaper. If it has to do with birds it usually ends up being forwarded to my email address by everyone else who receives it. Not that I mind, of course.

Photo by Chris Bosak A volunteer from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds a young Purple Martin while she identifies the age during a Purple Martin banding event held Thursday, July 10, 2014, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn.,

Photo by Chris Bosak
A volunteer from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds a young Purple Martin while she identifies the age during a Purple Martin banding event held Thursday, July 10, 2014, at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Conn.,

Such was the case this week when the Friends of Sherwood Island (a state park in Westport, Conn.) sent a release announcing a Purple Martin banding project. I attended the event, of course, and marveled as staff and volunteers from state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Friends of Sherwood Island took young martins from their nest, fitted them with bands, weighed and measured them, recorded data and returned them to the nests.  As all this was going on, the adult martins fearlessly and undaunted continued to hunt for insects to bring back to the colony.

I even got to return five baby Purple Martins to their gourd. It was the first time I’ve ever held a Purple Martin. Very cool.

For the complete story and photos from The Hour photographer Erik Trautmann, click here.