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Friday, July 13, 2007

Dragons and Damsels

Widow Skimmer dragonfly

Halloween Pennant dragonfly

Swamp Spreadwing damselfly

Skimming Bluet damselfly

Halloween Pennant, Ebony Jewelwing, Spangled Skimmer, American Emerald, Vivid Dancer, Ruby Meadowhawk, Spot-winged Glider, Eastern Amberwing, Dragonhunter - these are the wonderful names of dragonflies and damselflies, and they're yours to discover. All you need is access to dragonfly habitat - ponds, lakes, streams, fields, even your garden - and a pair of our Stokes brand close-focusing binoculars. When the birding slows down in mid-morning, that's the time the dragonfly watching picks up, for they are insects and need to warm their bodies before becoming active. Dragonsflies and damselflies eat other insects, so think of them as the flycatchers of the insect world.

This morning on our walk with the dogs (Phoebe's Mom is visiting), we saw the beautiful dragonflies and damselflies above, plus many more. Look for perched dragons and damsels on sunny days in protected areas such as pond edges and field edges. It's a little easier to identify them (and photograph them) when they're perched. Once you become familiar with them, you may be able to identify some on the wing.

This weekend a dragonfly workshop is being held at our Bobolink Farm. We have good dragonfly habitat of a large pond (which is a dammed up part of a river) with lots of emergent vegetation, large fields, woodland edges, and gardens. We have great fun looking for the dragons and damsels this time of year when so many are active.

You can learn all about dragonflies and damselflies in our Stokes Beginner's Guide To Dragonflies which has full color photos of all the common ones you'll encounter and a clever key in the front to help you easily identify them. So take a dragonfly walk this weekend and see what dragons and damsels you can find.

Photos © Lillian Stokes, 2007

1 comment:

RuthieJ said...

I have your Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies and it's getting a good workout this summer (helping me to identify what I've photographed before posting the images in my blog). Thanks for the great pictures and making the field guide easy to use.