Phenology

Phenology (noun) is defined as “the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.”

There is an annual cycle of odonate activity that can be subdivided into three broad categories: Early Season (spring); Mid-season (summer); and Late Season (fall).

It appears the time has passed for many of the early season species of dragonflies, such as Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanta). I spotted one Blue Corporal during a photowalk on 14 May 2016 at Hidden Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area; no Blue Corporals were seen during a follow-up visit on 20 May 2016.

A Blue Corporal dragonfly (Ladona deplanata) spotted at Hidden Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

This individual is a female, as indicated by her terminal appendages.

A Blue Corporal dragonfly (Ladona deplanata) spotted at Hidden Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

I prefer to photograph dragonflies on simple, uncluttered backgrounds such as the piece of heavy lumber shown above. In my opinion, it is easier to see key field markers when the background isn’t a distraction.

A Blue Corporal dragonfly (Ladona deplanata) spotted at Hidden Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

In contrast, Michael Powell — a good friend and photowalking buddy — prefers photos of dragonflies in more natural settings. Here’s to you, Mike!

A Blue Corporal dragonfly (Ladona deplanata) spotted at Hidden Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

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Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Phenology”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Thanks for the mention, Walter. In fact, I prefer the natural backdrops. In an ideal situation, the background would a little less cluttered, but when shooting dragonflies that perch on the ground, that’s really tough to get. I’m ready for mid-season — bring on the new dragonflies.

    • waltersanford Says:

      You’re welcome, Mike. Regret we didn’t see any Blue Corporals on 20 May, but hey, at least you had the opportunity to explore several new places to photowalk.

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