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.
This individual is a female, as indicated by her terminal appendages.
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.
In contrast, Michael Powell — a good friend and photowalking buddy — prefers photos of dragonflies in more natural settings. Here’s to you, Mike!
- Dragonflies of Northern Virginia – Flight Periods
- Dragonflies and Damselflies of Loudoun [County, Virginia USA]
- National Phenology Network
Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.