Odonata and Flora for Independence Day
When we woke to warm and calm conditions on this July 4th holiday, I had to go paddling for a little while early this morning. Apparently others had the same idea since Marten’s Lake at Sweet Marsh had several people/vehicles in the parking area when I arrived.
I was not on the water to fish, but to photograph flora and fauna in the marsh environment. The farthest I paddled was just past the posts at the end of the channel. Dragonflies (odonatates) kept me busy as they buzzed back and forth protecting their perches and eating insects.
Photographing dragonflies is not the easiest of tasks. Yes, they do perch, but much of the time dragonflies are flitting around. My most successful approach is to park my kayak near a favored perch and then I sit still. Eventually the dragonflies return to the perch or somewhere nearby.
In the following pictures, notice the differences between Eastern pondhawk dragonflies and common blue dasher dragonflies. Most noticeable is the color of their faces (green vs white).
Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly:
Common Blue Dasher Dragonfly:
Widow Skimmer Dragonfly:
While I was on the water I also photographed pickerelweed and water lilies.
Thanks to the fellow from the Iowa DNR who was out doing watercraft inspections on a holiday to help prevent the spread of exotic/invasive aquatic species.