Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Autumn Has Arrived!

Well, not according to the calendar – for a few days yet – but as far as the dragonflies are concerned it has.   Recall the following haiku:

Red dragonfly on my shoulder,
calls me his friend.
Autumn has arrived.

The Autumn Meadowhawks are out in numbers at Cranberry Lake, and they are landing on your shoulders, arms, legs, shoes, etc.  In fact, you have to be careful where you step to make sure you don't step on one or more of them.  Here are a few pictures from Cranberry Lake last year to give you an idea of what it's like there now:

A pair of Autumn Meadowhawks in the wheel position on my finger.

The Autumn Meadowhawks are fairly numerous, and they seek out perching sites with good exposure to the sun.

Dragonfly on the shoulder – and the hat, too!

The Autumn Meadowhawk has been named the world's friendliest dragonfly by DASA, the Dragonfly Appreciation Society of America (membership consists so far of Jim and Betsy Walker).

The darners are also present in numbers right now.  The sunlit bushes at the lake were hosts to 6 to 8 perched darners at any given time, mostly Paddle-tailed Darners, but also a couple Shadow Darners and a Variable Darner.


The next day we made our first observation of a Dark-eyed Junco in our backyard.  This is another species whose occurrence is linked with the seasons – we see them on or close to the first day of Fall, they stay with us all winter, then disappear again around the first day of Spring.  They are extremely accurate, usually to within a day or two, as they were again this year.

Here's a little haiku to commemorate their appearance:

Dark-eyed Junco in my yard,
hopping to and fro.
Autumn has arrived.

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