Journal archives for October 2017

October 01, 2017

An Augury of Winter

Lisa noticed the dragonfly on the window screen this morning. With the sun now warming the insect, I stepped outside to get a photograph before it flew away. A brisk fall morning with the temperature right at 50 degrees F. Curiously the dragonfly, a recently emerged Common Green Darner, gripped the window screen and perched at an odd angle, off-kilter or tipped as if fallen or lifted by a sudden updraft of wind. The double shadows intrigued me as well---one for the dragonfly one for me. Best of all was the happenstance of having a snowflake ornament as a backdrop, presaging the end of a season this last day of September.

Posted on October 01, 2017 04:22 by scottking scottking | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 02, 2017

Widow Yellowjacket

Posted on October 02, 2017 02:28 by scottking scottking | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 03, 2017

A Brace of Leafhoppers

Posted on October 03, 2017 03:13 by scottking scottking | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 04, 2017

Uncentering

Posted on October 04, 2017 03:39 by scottking scottking | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 05, 2017

Red October

Recently I'd been lamenting how little time I've spent with the red dragonflies this year. Easily the least amount of time in the field with the Sympetrum dragonflies in ten years. In fact it seemed likely that I'd not see three of Minnesota's nine species: no Red-veined Meadowhawks, no Black Meadowhawks, no Saffron-winged Meadowhawks. And I nearly missed Variegated Meadowhawks as well, seeing no spring migrants, but two late season vagrants. However, today's outing to Lake Byllesby County Park near Cannon Falls helped to relieve these red dragonfly blues.

Each year this series of spring-fed ponds produces a stupendous number of Band-winged Meadowhawks. Visiting the site earlier this year and finding it completely dry, I had worried that the streak would come to an end, that this source population would disappear. By the time I'd crossed the green space between the parking lot and the trail head, a dozen or so Band-winged Meadowhawks had flown in front of me. The purpose of the visit today was to check on these dragonflies. They made it through the dry months just fine. The population was as strong as ever.

In addition to the multitudes of Band-winged Meadowhawks, there were a few White-faced Meadowhawks (how unusual for this species to be in the minority), a number of Autumn Meadowhawks, and dozens of Saffron-winged Meadowhawks. It was my first encounter with Saffron-winged Meadowhawks this year.

Saffron-winged Meadowhawks have the most distinct waist of all North American meadowhawks. As such they are a good example of what British entomologist Edward Newman had in mind when he coined the genus name “Sympetrum” in 1833. A footnote to the original description explains the origin of the word to be constructed of συμπιέζω and ητρον, the Greek verb for compress and the word for abdomen, referencing the narrowness of the abdomen sections 4 and 5. Unfortunately, this name gets mistranslated and misinterpreted because it would seem (if one didn't reference the original description) to be a construction of sym and petra, friend of stones.

Posted on October 05, 2017 04:10 by scottking scottking | 18 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 06, 2017

Cobweb Spider

Posted on October 06, 2017 02:59 by scottking scottking | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 07, 2017

Sumac Leaf Blotch Miner

Posted on October 07, 2017 03:49 by scottking scottking | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2017

An Early October Night

Posted on October 08, 2017 03:09 by scottking scottking | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 09, 2017

After Apple-Picking

Posted on October 09, 2017 01:23 by scottking scottking | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 10, 2017

Ahead of the Cold Front

Posted on October 10, 2017 03:33 by scottking scottking | 12 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment