Thursday, September 17, 2015

Double Seams

On a recent trip to Magnuson Park in Seattle, I took a few pictures of a young Cardinal Meadowhawk.  When I looked at the photos later it seemed like I was seeing double.  Here's an example of what I mean:

Notice the double images along the abdomen, specifically at the seams between the segments.  I wondered if I had jiggled the camera somehow, or had a smudge on the lens, but the double images were in all the photos.

I had never noticed before that the seams are doubled, but it turns out that it's easier to see the effect in young individuals, when the abdomen is light colored.  The double seams are still present in a mature adult, but they're not as prominent, as can be seen in the following photo:

I decided to check other meadowhawks, and have found that Striped Meadowhawks also have these unusual double seams.  Here's an example:

I haven't found this effect in other meadowhawks yet, like the Autumn Meadowhawk in the next photo.  I'll keep checking, though.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back to School

Well, it's that time of year again – time to head back to school.  Be sure to get everything you need for the new year.  And be sure to be happy!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Whisperer Spoke!

Wow, what a wonderful turnout for the dragonfly talk.  Thanks so much!  Your enthusiasm and interest really made for a delightful evening for both Betsy and me.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I thought I would present a few slides from the talk here, so everyone can enjoy them.

Here are the dragonfly locations I mentioned in Anacortes.

These are all excellent places to observe dragonflies.  In fact, Betsy and I went to Cranberry Lake yesterday shortly after noon and observed 15 splash-dunk events in just over an hour.  We also saw Cardinal Meadowhawks and Autumn Meadowhawks laying eggs near the shore.

I also presented a few slides showing the flight season and range maps for a number of dragonflies we see in Anacortes.  Here are a few that I thought might be of particular interest.

First, let's take a look at the flight season for the most common meadowhawks in Anacortes.

We saw only the Cardinal and Autumn Meadowhawks at Cranberry Lake yesterday, but the Striped Meadowhawks are probably out and about at Smiley's Bottom.

Here are the range maps for the meadowhawks:

Notice the predominantly west coast distribution of the Cardinal Meadowhawk.  The Striped Meadowhawk is seen west of the Rockies, and the Autumn Meadowhawk is predominantly an east coast dragonfly.

The Blue Dasher is a common and widespread dragonfly.  They should still be flying now at Heart Lake.

The Four-spotted Skimmer is a northern species that is widespread east to west.  They are seen most commonly at Cranberry Lake, though we didn't see any yesterday.

The Eight-spotted Skimmer is seen west of the Rockies.  We didn't see any yesterday at Cranberry Lake, but I bet they can still be seen at Heart Lake.

Here are the flight seasons for the most common darners in Anacortes.  The California Darner is the first to appear in the spring, but they're probably gone by now.  There should still be a few Blue-eyed Darners around, though.  At Cranberry Lake yesterday we saw lots of Paddle-tailed Darners (the Happy-face Dragonfly), and soon the Shadow Darners should start appearing.

Here are the range maps:

We're fortunate to live right in the heart of the Happy-face Dragonfly territory!

Thanks again for attending, and taking time to appreciate some of the smaller creatures that share our beautiful part of the country.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Whisperer Speaks!

I'll be giving a dragonfly presentation on "Dragonflies and Damselflies of Anacortes" tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at 7:00 pm at the Anacortes Public Library.  Here's a poster advertising the talk:

Here's a handout covering the main topics of the talk:

I hope to see you there.