Sunday, March 25, 2012

My new odonate nymph digger

For a couple of years I’ve been using a modified tennis racket as one of my implements of aquatic life exploration. I cut the strings out and replaced them with a piece of window screening. I scoop up sediment and strain it, or sweep through submerged vegetation, or catch what is dislodged from rocks and debris in streams. It has always worked really well, but it’s a bit big and heavy to carry around along with my aerial net and camera. I thought I’d try something a little smaller and lighter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

They are Dragonflies, not Dragon Flies

Once in a while I’ll see someone refer to “dragon flies” or a “dragon fly” which causes a brief piercing sensation in my head. Just kidding—it’s more of an open-handed thump to the back of the skull. Just kidding again! It really isn’t a big deal, but I thought I would explain the protocol regarding whether the fly part of the name is separate or not.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Migrant Meadowhawk Research Takes Wing

Last fall I wrote in It’s Time to Watch for Migrant Meadowhawks about migratory Variegated Meadowhawks (Sympetrum corruptum) which are sometimes observed in the Pacific Northwest flying south in large numbers. Those fall flights are most often observed on the coast—presumably because they are concentrated there during periods of persistent east winds, but large numbers have been observed elsewhere too.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Northwest Forktails (Ischnura)

With spring knocking at my door (well, maybe pulling up the driveway if not quite yet knocking at my door), I thought I’d do a little summary of the Pacific Northwest’s forktails (Ischnura). Most of our species appear relatively early in the year, so this is a good time to review them and make sure you’re familiar with the species around here.