I always keep track of the first and last flight dates for the various species in our area. Last week, November 22 to be precise, a Shadow Darner set a new record for the late date for that species. It was a cool day, only 41 ˚F, but nice and sunny. We saw only a single individual, a male, and it was flying near the treetops catching prey, landing for a while, then taking flight and catching more prey, and so on.
A week or so before that we had similar interactions with a Shadow Darner. We were at Little Cranberry Lake on a field trip for my dragonfly class. Here's what the lake looked like that day:
A Shadow Darner was seen perched in the bushes:
Notice the wide front stripes on the thorax, and the black tenth segment on the abdomen. I whispered it onto my finger to share with the group:
It has a bit of a happy-face appearance. In fact, here's one I saw later perched on the dam, giving a good view of its happy face:
Getting back to the one on my finger, as I was holding it Autumn Meadowhawks came in to land on me too:
Everyone had a good time taking pictures of the dragonflies—it was a true "Dragonfly Whisperer" experience for the class!