Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dragonfly Hunting / Nature Walking

On this beautiful Mother's Day weekend, the Wife is unfortunately working 12 hour shifts, so we'll celebrate her when she's home!  Today however was such nice weather that the kiddos and I decided to head on over to the local Nature Center and do a little walking around to see what we could see.  It is nice enough now that Odonates are emerging and taking wing, so we brought along our nets and cameras just in case.

There was plenty of wildlife to take pictures of, including the somewhat common...

Mother duck with her brood.  They followed after us hoping we'd have bread or some such.

Then there was the slightly less common, at least for me. See all of those black clouds under the water?

Millions of tadpoles!

I scooped some for a closer look,

and was proud of my kiddos being willing to follow suit and dip their hands in for some tadpole catching.

As for the dragonfly hunting.  It was our first time with nets, so I wasn't quite sure what I was doing.  But we managed to capture some Eastern Forktails, which I didn't get pictures of, and then this one...

I have no idea what he or she is.  I looked in my resource book, but couldn't find any that looked like it.

Then we found and caught this Variageted Meadowhawk female. 

I think I stunned her a bit, because we were all able to hold her for a few minutes before she zoomed away.  I was worried that I had damaged her, and was about to adopt her until, as she was walking on my daughters finger, she decided she'd had enough of show and tell and zipped off into the sky.

It was my first time holding a dragonfly, and was quite a remarkable experience.

Yesterday, Sweet Pea and I went on a dragonfly hunt and saw a male Variagated Meadowhawk...

and what appears to be some sort of Spreadwing damselfly. 

The spreadwing is what we were hunting today, but no luck with that one.  We need to get some better pictures of it to ID it correctly.

We'll go out tomorrow after church and go hunting again.  It was way too much fun, and I have some happy but tired kiddos.  You should have seen the smiles on their faces as the dragonfly crawled on their hands.  It really was something.

More Later

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