This summer I have been spending a lot of time participating in events sponsored by the Minnesota Odonato Survey Project. MOSP is a small group that is working on surveying and recording all of the different species of Odonates that are present in each county of Minnesota.
Very little data has been collected over the years on what Odonates, dragonflies and damselflies, can be found in Minnesota and where. The MOSP is working to resolve this issue by teaching people about odonates, so that there will be more people collecting data on them through out the state. Last week I drove about 5 hours each way to participate in the MOSP event up at Voyager National Park. Even though it was a long drive I specifically wanted to participate in the event at Voyager because it is very different habitat from where I live. I was rewarded by photographing several species that I did not have pictures of before.
Green darners, as seen in this series of photos are common through out much of North America. Each year the last brood of the green darners that emerge head south to avoid the on coming Minnesota winter. When they reach their warmer destination they mate and lay eggs, egg laying is pictured in the two photos above, and then they die. The eggs hatch and the larva spend a few months in the warm waters before they emerge as green darner dragonflies and begin to fly north. That is why the green darner s one of the first dragonflies that we see each spring. This weekend I will be heading out again to Dragonfly Weekend where I hope to have the opportunity to photograph a few now dragons.