The Last Dragonfly
- Being Human
- Being Outside
- Boston Globe
- Earth and Sky
- Photography and Optics
- What's This?
Even after our first hard frost and our last soft serve, after you’ve raked your leaves and mounted your snow tires, after the warblers have abandoned us for the tropics and you yourself have abandoned notions of warmth, and even after this cold political season – even then a dragonfly of summer remains.
Autumn Meadowhawks, the little red arrows, persevere. They dart around fields and ponds with the determination of a yellow lab. Long after the killing frosts have finished off the last of our charismatic summer insects, Autumn Meadowhawks still cling to life in the coming cold.
So when the sun shines again, watch for them basking on pale, fallen leaves. Our latest known date for this dragonfly in Vermont is November 26. I’ve seen them in Maine into December. They occasionallly drift in the winds past hawkwatching sites, sometimes in tandem pairs, a pose that amounts to dragonfly foreplay. They’ll have an autumn fling before the real cold descends. Then we must wait until April for the first Common Green Darners to arrive at our icy ponds from the south.
Onward to “Stick Season.”
I saw so many of these in our meadows last weekend. I suspect the enormous wind of the last days blew them in your direction!