Sunday, October 14, 2012

Field Trip: Day II

We had another great day for dragonflies on Saturday, October 6.  The weather was perfect, the dragonflies were active, and the company to share it with was wonderful.  Thanks to all who joined us for making it a memorable field trip.

Here's the species list for the day:

Northern/Boreal Bluet
Pacific Forktail
Blue-eyed Darner
Paddle-tailed Darner
Shadow Darner
Variable Darner
Autumn Meadowhawk

The Autumn Meadowhawks are the red ones, the ones who love to land on people.  Remember the haiku for these guys, which you can see here:

Also, results from day one can be found here:

The photos below show the lovely weather, and the great dragonfly interactions we enjoyed.

Enjoying the company of an Autumn Meadowhawk.
A photographic moment.  She had just lifted this Autumn Meadowhawk from its perch on the fencepost.
Getting a good close look.  So nice to be able to interact with these wonderful creatures.

Thanks also to Jerry Eisner for sharing some of his photos from the day with us.  Here they are:

With a little dragonfly whispering, this Autumn Meadowhawk was convinced to spend some time perched on a friendly finger.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
This is a female Autumn Meadowhawk.  Notice the large "egg scoop" projecting downward from near the tip of the abdomen.  The scoop is used to hold a drop of water into which the female deposits her eggs.  For more on the egg-laying process, see the last two photos below.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
Time for a good look.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
The red dragonflies really do perch on shoulders.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
Beautiful flight shot of two darners.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
Another great flight photo.  It's wonderful how photographs can capture a moment in time like this.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
A pair of darners hooking up into the wheel position in mid flight.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
A painterly photo showing a pair of Autumn Meadowhawks in tandem.  The female's abdomen is dipped into the water to acquire a drop of water.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)
After the female gets a nice drop of water, the pair hovers for about a second while she lays eggs into it.  The pair then smashes into the shoreline vegetation to dislodge the drop, with the eggs it contains, and ready themselves to repeat the process.  (Photo by Jerry Eisner.)

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