Zenfolio | Bruce Fellman | First fawn

First fawn

August 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

When you live a long time in the same place and you're committed to record-keeping, you can, in fairly short order, begin to compile a kind of natural calendar: an idea of what's expected when. So it is that, after at least five years of keeping tabs on our dragonflies and damselflies, I've come to assume that if it's a little past mid-August, it's high time for the Fawn Darners to put in an appearance. Darners are large, strong-flying odonates that are often on the move, except when they rest for a time in a characteristic vertical hanging position, head up, body down. That's when the observer can see a diagnostic field mark: the fact that their large eyes meet in a long seam on the top of the head. The Fawns have another mark that makes them easy to identify, those two large yellow-surrounded-by-black spots on each side of the thorax. The spots, no doubt, made an observer think of the spots on young deer, and a common name was born. The Fawn Darners also have a behavioral trait that is diagnostic. Not only are they most active around dusk, they often fly at night and on the ridge wind up hanging out by the kitchen porch lights. Perhaps the Fawns are attracted to the light-loving insects; perhaps it's just warmer there. Whatever the reason, it's time for Fawns... and here they are.


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