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.

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