As summer fades and fall begins many of the large types of dragonfly disappear. Many of the clubtails, cruisers, emeralds and even many of the skimmers are gone by the end of August. So if you plan to go out looking for dragons in September and October you should plan on seeing mainly darners and meadowhawks, at least that is how it is in my neck of the woods.
Meadowhawks are smaller dragonflies, usually one to one and a half inches long, that can be found around open water or in open fields. There are numerous types of meadowhawks with several types looking so similar that it is hard to identify them unless you have them under a magnifying glass or microscope. In most cases the male meadowhawk is red with black triangles running across the side of the abdomen.
Females range in color from yellow to red to brown and are even more difficult to identify. The exceptions to the rules are the black meadowhawk, which the male is black and female yellow, the variegated meadowhawk, which the male is red and silver and the female is usually yellow and white, and the autumn meadowhawk, which can sometimes be seen into November and can be identified by its yellow legs. The males in these pictures are autumn meadowhawk and the female in the last picture could be one of several types.