After the boys of summer have gone

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) is a member of the Clubtail Family of dragonflies that is spotted during June and July in mid-Atlantic United States like Virginia. Common Sanddragons are habitat specialists that prefer sandy woodland streams, so don’t look for them in wetland areas like the hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park.

This post features two male Common Sanddragon dragonflies, as indicated by their terminal appendages. As fate would have it, they are the last Sanddragons spotted during Summer 2015.

The water level was near the top of the stream banks after near record-setting rainfall for the month of June. (Notice the discoloration of the vegetation from siltation during a recent flood.)

A Common Sanddragon dragonfly (Progomphus obscurus) spotted at Dogue Creek, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

29 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Common Sanddragon (male)

The conditions for hunting Sanddragons were less than ideal. Male Common Sanddragons prefer perching on a sandy beach, facing the water; there weren’t any beaches, so Sanddragons were forced to perch alongside the stream. Or on a log…any port in a storm, so to speak.

Don’t be misled by the following photograph. The male dragonfly, affectionately known as “Ziggy Stardust” (notice the letters “Z” and “S” on the front of his thorax), is actually perching horizontally on a fallen log across a flooded stream. Ziggy blocked my way as I tried to walk across the log. As he looked up at me I imagine he was thinking, “Hey buddy, where do you think you’re going? This is my log!”

A Common Sanddragon dragonfly (Progomphus obscurus) spotted at Barnyard Run, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

29 JUN 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Common Sanddragon (male)

You had to go, I understand
But you swore you’d be back again
And so I’m frozen in this town
‘Til summer comes around
Source Credit: Lyrics, ‘Til Summer Comes Around.

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Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “After the boys of summer have gone”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Reblogged this on Mike Powell and commented:
    In vain I have searched this month for Common Sanddragon dragonflies at the places where I spotted them earlier this season. My good friend and fellow photographer and blogger, Walter Sanford, captured some beautiful shots of the last ones that we spotted. Be sure to check out the other wonderful photos and fascinating information in his blog.

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