Dragonfly Hike at Oldtown: June 22nd

The crowd gathers in hope of seeing dragonflies!  it was a good turnout for what started as a gloomy-looking day.

The crowd gathers in hope of seeing dragonflies! it was a good turnout for what started as a gloomy-looking day.

In the past, Candee and I have stumbled upon certain interests after buying a book with a colorful cover.  That explains our past hunts for wildflowers and mushrooms.  In fact, sometimes it feels like the only things we can sneak up on are wildflowers and mushrooms, but that’s another story for another post.  In the case of dragonflies, our friend and Level Walker Chair, Steve Dean, had a hike scheduled this past Sunday concerning these interesting creatures.

Dragonfly photography.  I saw the pictures, and these guys have an eye for their quarry!

Dragonfly photography. I saw the pictures, and these guys have an eye for their quarry!

The watered section of the C&O Canal near Oldtown–known as Battie Mixon’s Fishing Hole–is a great place to seek out dragonflies.  However, this day didn’t have a promising start: the temperature was in the high sixties and it was drizzling, which isn’t perfect for insects that prefer sunlight and heat.

I'm going to start Candee's collection with a Pondhawk--the only type of dragonfly we have positively identified at this point.

I’m going to start Candee’s collection with a Pondhawk–the only type of dragonfly we have positively identified at this point.

Candee did a great job of spotting dragonflies throughout the hike.  She let everyone with a better camera have first dibs, then she snuck up on the subject and did a remarkable job with my Samsung S3.

Candee did a great job of spotting dragonflies throughout the hike. She let everyone with a better camera have first dibs, then she snuck up on the subject and did a remarkable job with my Samsung S3.

It's amazing that many of these dragonflies literally posed while several people took turns photographing them.

It’s amazing that many of these dragonflies literally posed while several people took turns photographing them.

Nevertheless, a group of ten people showed up, and most were armed with much better cameras than ours.  I have to give Candee a lot of credit for getting some great shots with my Samsung phone, and fellow Level Walker Paul Perkus was kind enough to help us out with some fantastic pictures as well.  He has a great eye for photography, and many of his pictures have made it into the C&O Canal Association’s newsletter.  Memo to self: I need to invest in a better camera!

Courtesy of Paul Perkus.  I'm going to start  Paul's collection with a damselfly.

Courtesy of Paul Perkus.  I’m going to start Paul’s collection with a damselfly.

Courtesy of Paul Perkus.  This is a pondhawk as well, but the details are very good.

Courtesy of Paul Perkus. This is a pondhawk as well, but the details are very good.

Photo courtesy of Paul Perkus

Photo courtesy of Paul Perkus.  Check out the eyes on this guy!

Paul took so many great pictures that I could have filled a full page with them!

Paul took so many great pictures that I could have filled a full page with them!

Our past endeavors have met with mixed success: we do know a fair amount about wildflowers and have been fortunate enough to identify a number of them, but mushrooms are another story.  As for dragonflies, that remains to be seen.  One way of finding out is to attend the next dragonfly hike at Pennyfield Lock on August 9th.  Checking out these unique insects goes hand-in-hand with the history of the canal and great conversation with people who have a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.  Anyone interested should check out the C&O Canal Association’s website,  There are a number of great hikes and opportunities to volunteer in the park.  What could be better?

Be Sociable, Share!

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by LevelWalker on June 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks to Paul for some great pictures and Steve for leading an excellent hike. It was another good day on the towpath!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jamie on June 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for posting some great pictures. The insect world offers some fascinating colors throughout the summer months. Perhaps mosquitoes would be more tolerable if they came in metallic hues. Then again, probably not…

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on June 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Agreed. There’s nothing that can be done to make a mosquito attractive. The dragonflies were surprisingly fascinating. Like many things, I would have never noticed them if left to my own devices.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>