Monday, November 05, 2012

Now the other works begins

I usually save up all of my data entry and specimen preparation for the fall and winter months.  This means there is a big lot of specimens needing to be cataloged and placed into mylar sleeves with data cards.  My plan is to have a lot of them done before the end of the year this time.  That will get us caught up with all the new data from 2012, which can be used in the Michigan Odonata Atlas.   These short days and long nights will be put to good use.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The season ends (sort of)

It's now November 1st.  What a strange season it has been.  I was seeing odes back in March, and since then it has been an up and down type of year. Things were great up until early June, and then the drought started taking hold here in SE Michigan. As a result, late-summer dragonfly emergence from marshes and shallow ponds really dried up.  Very few darners and meadowhawks were to be found locally.  So, although the flight season is pretty much over except for some lingering Sympetrum vicinum, my work is just beginning as I tally up our results from this year and check over the specimens that have been submitted.  I have numerous specimens to be cataloged, cards printed, and specimens to be placed into clear envelopes for the collection.  Most of this I do at home.

Autumn meadowhawk, Sympetrum vicinum.

I was on a brief visit to Marquette last weekend to return my daughter's Jeep to her and get my own vehicle back.  I stopped at the Straits State Park near St. Ignace, and saw the most Sympetrums I had seen all year.  So, I  have a photographic record of Sympetrum vicinum for October 26, 2012 for Mackinac Co. While I was trying to photograph this one on a rock where several were sunning themselves (temperature was about 50°F), my buddy Marc Akemann photographed me with two more perched on my back. I guess I was a good heat source, too.  Until we have a serious killing frost, this species will hang on into November, a last reminder of the great fun we had this summer.