Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dragons at Lake Nokomis

Lake Nokomis is a lake in south Minneapolis that many people in the Twin Cities visit for a little fun in the sun. The main beach is usually crowded with people laying out to get a tan or splashing out in the waves. On the other side of the lake there is smaller less trendy beach that usually caters to a bit older crowd. One afternoon in June I decided to stop over at Lake Nokomis after work,but I did not bring my beach towel, swimming suit or suntan lotion, instead I brought bug spray and my camera.
My goal was to have fun at the lake shore but that did not necessarily involve the beach, so I spent my afternoon exploring the wilder sides of Lake Nokomis.
Even though there were quite a few birds in the trees surrounding the lake I was more interested in the dragons that I found in the shoreline vegetation.
The first dragons that caught my eye was this pair of green darners. Since the two dragons were in tandem, male is grasping the back of the females head, I thought that she would arch her abdomen up to his and form into the wheel position for mating.
After watching for a couple seconds I realized that they had already finished mating and were in the process of laying the eggs. The female would continually reach her abdomen into the water to deposit the eggs on the underwater vegetation. The male was exhibiting contact guarding, meaning that he continued to hold on to the female until she was finished laying the eggs to ensure that no other male would mate with her.
The twelve-spotted skimmer can often be seen perched on a branch or other vegetation on the edges of ponds, marshy lakes, or slow moving streams.
From their perch they protect their territory from other males as well as hunt for flying insects.

I also found my second clubtailed dragonfly. This time it was a cobra clubtail. Unfortunately it was perched on a sign near the shore of the lake. I took a couple of pics and then tried to move around to get a different angle but unfortunately it took off and I lost it.


Shellmo said...

Very interesting info on the dragon flies as always!

Leedra said...

You always get such great photos of the dragonflies. Also, am learning about them from you.

Leedra said...

I have given you an award. You need to retrieve it and post on your blog.

Beverly said...

Ya know...yours is a most interesting, exciting, educational, very well-photographed site; I just love to visit here! Thank you so much for the work you do...

OH, can you tell us what photo equipment you use? I wonder if I didn't mess up my camera when I dropped it...and if not, if I can ever afford a scope for it. It's good to read what people use.

Thanks again,

Ecobirder said...

Thanks Shellmo, Leedra, and beverly for the nice comments and for the award Leedra.

Beverly, I am currently on my way to South Dakota to a shorebird workshop for the weekend. When I return I will put together a post with what type of equpiment that I use.

Beverly said...

Awesome, I'm betting I'm not the only one interested! I'm sure I'm also NOT the only one who realizes all the best equipment in the world will not automatically create the photos you include here. You do wonderful work!