Today we had a wonderful guest speaker, Don Henise, present a terrific program on identifying dragonflies. After an comprehensive indoor slide presentation, we hit the trails to look for dragon- and damselflies.
I’ve done my best to label some of the species we saw.
And the slightly less-colorful female eastern forktail.
Widow skimmers were also out in good numbers, both at the pond and in the fields. This is an immature male. Like the 12-spotted, the male widow skimmer has bluish-white patches on the wings. As it matures, the orange stripes along its abdomen will also turn bluish-white.
Just as I was leaving the pond, I caught sight of this tiny painted turtle. It caught sight of me, too, and quickly plopped below the water.
After leaving the pond, we headed for the grassland, which was full of Halloween pennants, which are a beautiful copper and black.
And I was pleased to find this seven-spotted ladybug…until I verified that it is one of the ladybugs introduced from Europe. Finding native ladybugs is becoming harder and harder to do.
Great spangled fritillaries were also all over the place. These large orange and black butterflies might be mistaken for monarchs at a distance by novice butterfly-watchers. Sadly, we’ve seen very few monarchs this year – like maybe three. Numbers are way down.
Don was thinking this was an immature male ruby meadowhawk. Ruby and cherry-faced meadowhawks are difficult to tell apart – they, along with the white-faced meadowhawk, form the White-face/Cherry-face/Ruby Complex.
A few other species were spotted, but I was unable to capture them with the camera. I may be returning tomorrow, though, armed with my tripod, to see if I can get some better images of some of our local dragonflies. It looks like it will be another nice day…if a bit warm. Perhaps I’ll see you out here!