We normally head down to the Wildlife Pond at FENCE in Tryon every summer for our annual Dragonfly Workshop. However this year there had been so little rain that the pond was almost dry. This did not spell well for our day out, so we changed our location to the Fletcher Park wetland. Luckily we had received more rain up here in WNC and the pond was quite full of water. We all met at the park around 9AM- just as it was warming up ready for a great morning of "dragons and damsels".
We were lucky enough to have local Ode Experts, Vin Stanton,
Doug Johnstonand & Gail Lankford to help us out.
We started out small looking at several of the very tiny forktails in the grass around the pond, and learning some of the differences between these very tough little damsels. Around the pond we were treated to the normal exuberant display of flying from the various skimmers. Vin had seen a Spangled Skimmer on previous visits to the pond and a couple of us managed to see this uncommon dragon as it flew over. Everyone managed to see and hopefully distinguish between Twelve-spotted Skimmer and Halloween Pennant but looking at the Bluets and various Spreadwings proved to be much more challenging (to all of us!) A great find (and a new county record I believe) was the Little Blue Dragonet. This tiny little dragon is superficially similar to a Blue Dasher but without the bright green eyes amongst other things.
It was a terrific day and Fletcher Park has certainly proved to be an excellent spot for Odes, especially when the pond is full of water!
Thanks to all for making the day so enjoyable and educational.
Photo of the Little Blue Dragonet by Doug Johnston