Monday, June 22, 2015

U. S. Open Dragonflies

Last Wednesday, Betsy and I went to the U. S. Open at Chambers Bay.  We logged 6 miles according to Bety's pedometer.  It was worn it, though, because it's quite a course, and the setting is spectacular.  Here's what it looks like at the 18th green.

The view from the 18th green at the U. S. Open at Chambers Bay.

We saw a few golfers we recognized, but also saw some dragonflies.  It turns out there are a couple nice ponds at Chambers Bay, though not on the course itself.  We saw many Blue-eyed Darners flying about, and also several Cardinal Meadowhawks.  During the television coverage we often saw dragonflies zipping across the screen.

Here are some pictures of these dragonflies taken at other locations.  First, the very common Blue-eyed Darner.

A  male Blue-eyed Darner.  Many were seen patrolling the greens of Chambers Bay.

We also saw a number of Cardinal Meadowhawks.

A male Cardinal Meadowhawk.  Notice the intense red color, especially on the abdomen, and the dark red patches at the base of the wings.

Some of the Cardinal Meadowhawks were even flying in tandem, a sure sign that water must by nearby in which they could lay their eggs.

Cardinal Meadowhawks flying in tandem as they lay eggs,

During the tournament, on Saturday, we saw Dustin Johnson getting ready to putt at the 9th green.

Dustin Johnson at the 2015 U. S. Open.

We also noticed a Blue-eyed Darner that was patrolling back and forth near the hole, apparently using it as a landmark to define his territory.  Johnson got ready to putt, but then backed off when he noticed the darner.  His caddy then got out a towel and shooed the darner away.  It was funny, because they both acted like this big "bug" might sting them.  Here's the gentle creature that was causing all the fuss:

A child holding a Blue-eyed Darner.

Dragonflies often have a bad reputation, even though they are quite innocuous – no sting, no bite, and no venom.

In any case, it was fun to watch the U. S. Open on TV and recognize the features we'd seen in person, including the many beautiful dragonflies.

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