I had the opportunity to lead a Young Naturalists Club walk this morning out at Woodhus Slough just north of the Oyster River. We were looking for dragonflies and on this sunny morning were fortunate to find a few. It’s late in the year for dragonflies and many of the ones that we caught (and released) were looking tattered.
With children, dragonfly watching can be challenging. A fair amount of patience and the ability to stay still for long periods of time are both prerequisites. Those using nets also need the skill required to catch these amazing fliers without harming them.
Still, we had a good morning out in the sedges at the edge of the slough. We caught a couple of paddle-tailed darners (Aeshna palmata) and one striped meadowhawk (Sympetrum pallipes). The kids had a good close-up look at these two species in-hand before they were released.
I returned to the edge of the water after the group had left and persevered for another forty-five minutes or so. As the day heated up so did the activity around the water. I was able to catch and photograph a variable darner (Aeshna interrupta) and got a fleeting look at a damselfly moving through the sedge. All in all, it was an enjoyable way to spend the morning – I highly recommend it!