Photographs by Frank

20 June 2013

A Fabulous Day for Odes

Yesterday was a spectacular day weather-wise… bright and sunny with the temperature in around 70. A perfect day to be outside!

I headed out late morning with three sites in mind to visit… the Powdermill Pond WMA, the Contoocook River near the paper mill in Bennington and the Lovern’s Mill White Cedar Swamp. I actually stopped at only the first and the last… the river by the paper mill  looked way too high to wade. Even so, I did not get back home until after four.

The first photo (below)  of the calico pennant was made in the yard as I was taking my gear out to the truck. The last four photos were made at the Cedar Swamp. The rest at Powdermill Pond, mostly in the uplands area as the river was too deep to wade safely.

There were surprisingly few odes out and about in general.

At the Powdermill Pond WMA there were decent numbers of Eastern Forktails mainly in the grassy areas back from the river and a few clubtails cruising the river bank.

At the Lovern’s Mill Swamp, I saw exactly three odes… but took good advantage of them! On my way in to the swamp, I saw, but did not get a chance to photograph, a single ebony jewelwing along the trail just before getting to the swamp proper.

While on the boardwalk in the swamp, I saw exactly two Harlequin Darners.

I watched one individual for some time, he kept hovering at about chest height in the vegetation just off the boardwalk and would occasionally land on the trunk of a nearby white cedar. At one point he chased off another dragonfly. (I assume another Harlequin Darner).

Since he was spending long (for a dragonfly) periods hovering in one spot, I tried my hand at capturing him flight. This is not something I try to do regularly as it is a low yield endeavor. The photo shown is the best, by far, of more than a dozen total.

Eventually the darner flew off and I headed back up the trail towards the car.

Maybe fifty feet back up the trail from the boardwalk, I encountered another (maybe the same individual as before; it was the same general area) ebony jewelwing. This time he was most accommodating in terms of photography. He was actively feeding on the insects along the trail. He spent most of his time perched on the trail-side  vegetation either waiting to pounce or eating. He was quite successful at hunting, returning to a perch with prey every second or third foray.

I may have contributed a bit to his success as a large cloud of mosquitoes quickly enveloped me when I stopped to photograph him. I believe that this was a symbiotic relationship… beneficial to at least two of the parties involved. I got photos, the damselfly got fed and the mosquitoes… well they got eaten!

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Calico Pennant (female)
Calico Pennant (female)
Lacewing
Lacewing
Eastern Forktail (immature male) with Prey
Eastern Forktail (immature male) with Prey
Eastern Forktail (male) with Prey
Eastern Forktail (male) with Prey
Eastern Forktail (male)
Eastern Forktail (male)
Variable Dancer (female)
Variable Dancer (female)
Variable Dancer (female)
Variable Dancer (female)
Lancet Clubtail (male)
Lancet Clubtail (male)
ID Needed
ID Needed
Damselfly (teneral) ID needed
Damselfly (teneral) ID needed
Eastern Forktail (immature male)
Eastern Forktail (immature male)
Harlequin Darner (male)
Harlequin Darner (male)
Harlequin Darner (male)
Harlequin Darner (male)
Ebony Jewlwing (male) with Prey
Ebony Jewlwing (male) with Prey
Ebony Jewlwing (male) with Prey
Ebony Jewlwing (male) with Prey

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