Dragonfly Days

On Tuesday, Lou and I walked on the Henson Trail for the first time in about six weeks. A lot has changed in that time! Bird song was much subdued, though I did hear an Eastern Wood Pewee and of course our local loudmouth, a Carolina Wren. Many American Robins were foraging in the woods, kicking up last year’s leaves in their hunt for delicacies and seeming to have a great old time. I’m glad it’s been a good year for robins.

Acadian nest 2016Our Red-shouldered Hawks’ nest was empty, naturally, but the sharp “Pizza!” song of an Acadian Flycatcher led me to discover another nest. Acadian nests always look messy, with their typical long strands of dangling vegetation, but this one was clearly the worse for wear after our recent heavy downpours and strong winds. I hope all the babies had fledged successfully before the storms.IMG_0218

The dark waters of the wetland pool hosted several frogs, mostly bullfrogs making brief one-bark comments, not the long rich jug-a-rum sound we love to hear. Bullfrogs always look so calm and confident, like prosperous old Victorian gentlemen.

Dragonflies zoomed over the water, and I wished I had my dragonfly field guide with me. Two I’m confident about were a Common Whitetail male with his white abdomen and spotted wings, and a big powdery-blue Eastern Pondhawk (both photos).

I’m always happy to see dragonflies, first for their beauty, then for their aerial abilities, but also because they eat so many biting insects! Let’s hear it for these pond predators, whose ancestors go back 325 million years. In their flashing flight, dragonflies (and smaller damselflies) not only illumine our summer days, they help keep our trails comfortable for summer strolls.

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2 comments on “Dragonfly Days

  1. Hi Cecily,

    Thank you for writing about dragonflies! And so cool that you found the Acadian’s nest – I had no idea what they look like.

    Your dragonfly pix are lovely, too. (But you know what, that’s a way cooler species than a Pondhawk, it’s a Great Blue Skimmer! You can tell by the white face; a Pondhawk’s would be green. Plus Eastern Pondhawks have white appendages (the claspery bits at the end of the abdomen.)

    Enjoy these dragonfly days (the best days!) – Lisa

  2. Thanks Lisa! So the white-faced one is a skimmer? That was taken days before the other one, in which the eyes are green. I’m sure you’re right! At the time, weeks ago now, I thought it was a great blue skimmer, but I’m bad about labeling photos, and I forgot. I shall send dragonfly and damselfly pics to you for correct ID before posting them!

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