Odes Around Us

Top Photo: Carolina saddlebags. Dragonflies and damselflies belong to an order of insect called Odonata. Dragonflies are in the suborder Anisoptera, the damsels in the suborder Zygoptera. Dragonflies usually hold their wings out to their sides when at rest. They are typically larger and bulkier than damselfies. Dragons have large compound eyes which, in many species, cover most of the head. Some species eyes only just meet at the top of the head, but still cover a large portion ofRead more

First Meadowhawk

Saw the first of the season Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) on October 12 in Explore the Wild. I haven’t seen another, but keep your eyes open, it’s that time of year again. Although I have seen these meadowhawks in May, their typical emergence occurs in the fall. The earliest that I see them is October, the latest, December. They like to perch in sunny areas, usually from about waist high to just inches from the ground. You very well mayRead more


Besides the many human visitors to the Museum on the mild, blue-sky day after Thanksgiving, Autumn Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum) were out in numbers. These late season dragonflies can be seen into the first half of December. While I expect to see meadowhawks at this time of year, what was remarkable is the sighting of a female Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) in Explore the Wild. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo. The typical flight period for Common Whitetails is from late March to earlyRead more

Autumn Meadowhawks

There are still dragonflies to be seen. Your best bet to see one of these little odes is on the descent into the Wetlands, perched on the handrail or zipping up to catch a passing aerial insect, down near the main Wetlands Overlook, or on the north side of the Wetlands. Those locations are best when the sun is shinning down on them, giving the dragonflies a warm spot to perch. Besides the males, I’ve only seen a few females,Read more

Autumn Meadowhawk!

The first meadowhawk of the season was seen on the 7th of October. It was an Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) and was on the smartweed that grows at the end of the boardwalk in the Wetlands. The following day I saw two more, so keep a sharp eye out for this small, bright red dragon.Read more