Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A good day for damsels behind the shop.

As fall closes in on us, I start to feel sorta bummed because there are few odes left...just the stragglers who are too determined to procreate and are
 postponing the inevitable.  But they seemed to me happy (as much as a creature without a limbic system can have any emotion).  But I guess in a damselfly's world, happy means "not being eaten by a Argiope aurantia."

And there was an A. aurantia.  A big fat mamma A.a.  With a sweet web, just a few feet from where I took these shots of the damsels.  Beautiful, beautiful creatures, these orb weavers, who know where to find a nice meal, a few feet off the ground a few feet from the edge of the pond.

There were also quite a few bluets, (all genus Enallagma) but I can't figure out if they were Familiar Bluets or Tule Bluets or what.  There was one Azure Bluet (E. aspersum) for sure, but that was all I could be sure of, and that was only 95% sure. 
 As I have said before, damselflies are lovely but can be a pain to identify, especially since color variations are so common.  Anyway, they're gorgeous. Sorta like tropical fish that don't need feeding.

I did identify one E. signatum...a lovely Orange Bluet who almost fooled me because he was sitting with his wings slightly apart in spreadwing fashion.  A little blurry but I didn't have my telephoto lens with me today.

So there were a few cool dragonflies...a rather skittish Blue Dasher and a
 Black Saddlebags (Tramea macellata).  In a few weeks they'll all be gone and I will be looking for something else to hunt for a few months.

Part of living in a place like Wisconsin is that you must steel yourself to the fact that things come and go with the seasons.  It is one of the more difficult parts of living here if you love the outdoors, but it's also intrisically why we love the outdoors.  If damsels and dragons and even orb spiders lived ten months a year, I probably would not have taken the time to savor the ineffable and gone outside with the camera, despite the 
increasing pile of work I need to get done in the next few weeks.

The work is not going away soon, but for my odonate pals, the bell tolls.  One must have one's priorities.

Respectfully submitted,



Rosie said...

The bell tolls!!! I LOVE it.

But, no, there's LOTS of time left for you and your odes down there. You've got your autumn green darner migration, your meadowhawks in October, and plenty of spotted spreadwings (L.congener?) to look forward to! Plenty of dragon and damselhunting time before my wedding. :)

ps. it's true, all the dudes I work with need a scope to tell the Enallagmas apart.

wsb said...

I think this is getting a little out of control...

mk said...

WSB.... I'm thinking intervention. What say you?