Monday, May 5, 2014

Dragonfly Watching Adventure

Visited Georgia for a couple of days for wildlife watching. Trip objectives: find, identify, photograph what nature I can (focus on dragonfly species) given total unfamiliarity with the land...basically live large and passionate (going for it...like you?).

Took over 600 photos/video using two Canon cameras/7" Nexus tablet visiting one National Wildlife Refuge, four State Parks/two Wildlife Management Areas. Weather was a major feature - a slow-moving storm front with tornado's and twenty-one inches of rain in places. Avoided harm by channeling my intuitive Weather Channel persona :-)

Encountered 46 species of birds that I had not listed in years; comedic nasal cawing of the Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) and the Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina) singing "monte monte video" from the dense forest understory stand out. Landscape features, well they were green, really green and verdant. Closing my eyes I can still see the Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) draping the Cypress swamp trees at Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Getting back to things that fly, believe I found five "lifer" butterfly species (2 Satyr, 1 Sootywing, 1 Skipper and 1 Swallowtail). However, observing different Skimmers (Libellulidae dragonfly family), made my trip...big and showy species (for the most part:-) that most folks mentally associate as "dragonflies". They are spectacular!

Call to Action - Your neighborhood wetland might even have these species present for your own discovery, try it. Below is a sampling of species discovered:
Bar-winged Skimmer

Golden-winged Skimmer

Painted Skimmer

Spangled Skimmer