Thursday was a productive day, photographing in the Allegan Forest.
I started out off 44th street, parking in a small gravel parking lot that connects to a two track road that leads deep into the woods. The road is barricaded and gated, so its only open to foot traffic. When I arrived I was amazed at the millions of ants that were swarming in the parking lot and running along the ruts in the road. They weren’t like the killer ants you see in the movies, but then they weren’t shy about running up my legs if I stood still for too long.
I followed the road back to a clearing, along the way getting some shots of a Brown Spiketail, some Calico Pennants, and later an Eastern Pondhawk devouring a much smaller Calico Pennant. The ants proved to be more of a problem than I expected – ultimately they worked their way into my shoes and onto my legs, biting and stinging as they went.
I moved on to the old farmstead where the vernal marsh was fuller and larger than I have ever seen it. The recent rains have expanded it’s size considerably. Dot Tailed Whiteface dragonflies were abundant in the sandy fields around the marsh. The marsh itself was a real hub of activity, with countless darners, blue dashers, dot tailed whitefaces, widow skimmers, spangled skimmers, white tails, and twelve spotted skimmers dancing in the air. I also saw what I think was a red saddlesbags, though I never got a good shot of it. To my surprise, I also spotted the first few white faced meadowhawks.
The dragonflies were largely air born over the marsh, and didn’t pause much for photos. I spent a couple of hours in the area, and then moved on. At this point Allegan is greener and more lush than I have seen it in a long time – so hopefully it will offer good hunting for a while.