Photographs by Frank

8 July 2018

Odeing the Harris Center Property on Brimstone Corner Road

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Odontates,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 10:00 PM

A couple of years ago, the Harris Center purchased a parcel of land along Brimstone Corner Road about a half-mile from our house (down towards the bridge). This parcel contains the north (and downstream) end of the beaver-made wetland complex whose southern end we share with NH Audubon.

Yesterday afternoon, about three o’clock with the temperature in the mid-70s and mostly sunny skies, I walked the roughly four-tenths of a mile down Brimstone Corner road from our house to the road (which closed to vehicles) that passes through this property. About a quarter-mile down this road lies a log yard that was last used about five years ago and another quarter-mile along one comes to a beaver dam and the outlet stream from the wetland complex.

Both sites have good odeing. The old log yard is bright, sunny upland. The outlet area has both vegetated still water habitat (i.e. the beaver pond) and a sandy bottom small stream habitat. The sunny spots along the road also usually contain some odes. All-in-all, lots of good potential odeing in a small area and I was not disappointed yesterday.

Maybe fifty feet after turning off Brimstone Corner Road, I encountered my first ode, a female slaty skimmer. In the quarter-mile down to the log yard, I saw about a half dozen spreadwings down low in the grassy strip at the middle of the road.

When I arrived at the log yard, I immediately saw two large darners having a dog fight over the open area. They flew high and away without a chance for me to photograph them.

The tall grasses covering the log yard are perfect habitat for calico pennants which usually begin to appear in early July around here. As I moved though the grasses, I stirred up a six or eight calico pennants. They were mostly yellow (i.e. females or immature males) but there were also a couple of red (mature) males present.

When I arrived at the water, the first thing I noticed were many (dozens) of male slaty skimmers mostly patrolling and skirmishing out over the open water. In the grassy areas around the dam there were small numbers of both bluets and spreadwings present. (More precise identification requires capturing individuals for examination with a hand lens; not something that I usually do.) I observed one or two female Eastern Forktails here as well.

The downstream side of the road is the beginning of a short stretch of the outlet stream with a nice sandy bottom and rapidly flowing water; perfect habitat for ebony jewelwings. There were a couple of dozen individuals of both sexes present along eight or ten feet of this stream. It seemed that every sunny spot in the area contained a perched jewelwing or was begin fought over by a pair.

On my way back home, I stopped again at the log yard and observed only calico pennants. As before, they were mostly yellow with one or two mature males present. I arrived home a bit after six o’clock. All-in-all a very nice way to spendĀ  part of a nice summer afternoon.

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Spreadwing #1
Spreadwing #1
Calico Pennant #1
Calico Pennant #1
Calico Pennant #2
Calico Pennant #2
Slaty Skimmer (male)
Slaty Skimmer (male)
Ebony Jewelwing (male)
Ebony Jewelwing (male)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Bluet
Bluet
Spreadwing #2
Spreadwing #2
Eastern Forktail (female)
Eastern Forktail (female)
Slaty Skimmer (female)
Slaty Skimmer (female)
Calico Pennant (male)
Calico Pennant (male)

 

1 Comment

  1. Well, it appears that you have located another treasure trove of odes so close to home.

    These are amazing – so what else is new??

    Comment by joe — 9 July 2018 @ 12:59 PM

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