This has been, so far... and I'm pretty sure this summation will prove true for the rest of 2017... an off year for odonates. But this didn't keep me out of the field—not by any means, for there were other groups of insects that I found equally compelling. It was, as I've noted, a great year for butterflies, Monarchs in particular, and while I was stalking lepidopterans, I discovered just how ubiquitous and fascinating the flies could be. Some, of course—the Deer Flies in particular—are critters with painful bites to be avoided, and others, like at least most of the mosquitoes, can be lumped into that category as well (although I did observe those bite-free psychedelic "Elephant Mosquitoes). For me, however, the best of the Dipteran bunch are the flies in the bee-mimic group Syrphidae, the Flower Flies. I'm still learning their classification, and I'm thinking it will be a cold-weather project to get really familiar with them. Here's one for further study: definitely a large Syrphid, and definitely enjoying a late-afternoon snack on a still-blooming Seaside Goldenrod.