e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Sunshine after storms: dragonflies

Not only were the butterflies out in force yesterday, but so were dragonflies.   I saw Roseate Skimmers for the first time this year, and there were at least four of them--two squabbling over who had rights to Owl Water, and another two with the same argument over the west gully system overflow.
These are fairly large dragonflies, stout-bodied as you can see.  The females are golden in the sun; when you see a pair in "wheel" formation during mating, it's stunning.

Before yesterday, I had never seen a Red Saddlebags male holding still (my one previous photograph of a Red Saddlebags was a female, late in the year, on a very cool morning.)    However, I got half-lucky--half in that the male kept returning to the same perch, a stalk sticking up out of the water in the west gully system, but also kept turning to face me, making it hard to get the kind of shot that shows all the details (and is all in focus.)  Still, it's a nice red dragonfly with black on the final segments of the abdomen.  You can see the red face, the black on the top of the final segments, the red veining in the forewings and the dark red-brown hindwing markings that make this dragonfly, in flight, look like it's got "saddlebags" on each side of its body.

Tags: dragonfly, odonates, red saddlebags, wildlife

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