Friday, October 5, 2012

Field Trip: Day I

Today was the first of our two field trips to see late-season dragonflies at Cranberry Lake.  It's a great time to see darners and Autumn Meadowhawks.  Lots of activity of various types, and beautiful weather and scenery to boot.

For example, we had some very good views of the Happy-face Darner (Paddle-tailed Darner) perched in the bushes.  We also saw perched Shadow Darners and Variable Darners.  They looked great through the spotting scope, and lots of good pictures were taken as well.

In addition, we saw 10 splash-dunk events, most of them followed with a nicely visible spin-dry.  In some cases we could see droplets shooting off during the spin-dry, in other cases we saw the droplets spraying across the smooth surface of the lake.  It was such a warm, toasty day that we envied the dragonflies, and were tempted to so a little splash-dunking of our own.

The Autumn Meadowhawks were their usual friendly selves, perching on just about everyone at one point or another.  Even people just out for a walk found themselves in the midst of dragonfly appreciation day!  Here are a couple shots of Libby with a male Autumn Meadowhawk on her hat and just taking flight.

A male Autumn Meadowhawk basks in the sun on Libby's hat.

A little while later he decided to take off, probably to look for a mate.

Thanks to all who attended.  Betsy and I had a great time sharing our love of dragonflies.

Happy Dragonflying,

Jim & Betsy Walker

P. S.  Ronan Ellis was kind enough to share some of his pictures from this field trip with us.  Thanks, Ronan!  Here they are:

Red dragonfly on a shoulder.  (Photo by Ronan Ellis.)
Red dragonflies like hats as well.  (Photo by Ronan Ellis.)
Nice place to bask in the sun.  (Photo by Ronan Ellis.)
Giving a dragonfly a hand.  (Photo by Ronan Ellis.)
Paddle-tailed Darner, also known as the Happy-face Darner.  (Photo by Ronan Ellis.)

No comments:

Post a Comment