One of the dragonflies seen a couple days ago at Cranberry Lake was the Four-spotted Skimmer. Here's a photo of one from that day:
Four-spotted Skimmers have a high perching index (about 80 – 90%), and hence are easy to observe and photograph. If you see a golden brown dragonfly in our area it's almost certainly a Four-spotted Skimmer, so the ID is fairly easy as well. Females look the same as males, except a bit duller in color.
Mating is a rapid affair with these dragonflies. Their short, pudgy abdomens aren't particularly flexible, and hence they stay in the wheel position for only about 10 to 15 seconds. After mating, the female dips the tip of her abdomen repeatedly into the water to lay eggs while the male hovers above for protection. They don't stay attached in tandem during egg laying, as do many meadowhawks, because their inflexible abdomens aren't well suited for that kind of maneuver.