Suddenly, the season changes…
The summer of 2008 was long and lush. Frequent heavy rains kept even the most sandy fields vibrant green throughout the season. And the summer like days clocked on through September, and even into early October.
Now fall is here in full force. This year does not bring a bright, colorful, vibrant fall. I expected that it would, reckoning that the long and productive summer with result in fabulous fall colors. But instead the greedy trees hang onto their green leaves right up to the last minute. They wither, turn brown, and drop. There is, of course, a splash of color here and there – but a highlight and a splash. Otherwise olive tan is the color of the season.
As expected, the dragonflies have moved on. It’s amazing how the insect population in general just collapses in mid October. The area has had one or two mild frosts, no hard freezes, but still the dragonflies have disappeared.
A few trips into the Allegan Forest and McLindon trails have netted little result. The Autumn Meadowhawks cling to the low vegetation – grasping on short plant stalks or landing on brown leaves; resting on the ground. They are a lot like the Dot-Tailed Whitefaces that were among the first dragons to appear in the spring. Fall ends as spring began – with me lying in the sandy soil, trying to coax out a shot or two of the infrequent dragons.
And so, barring anything unexpected, here are the last dragons of 2008 - a few shots of the reliable Autumn Meadowhawk, plus a couple shots of a either a Ruby Meadowhawk or a Saffron Winged Meadowhawk. (It looks more like a Ruby, but Saffron Wingeds are more likely in October.)
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