Monday, June 29, 2009

Bay Tree Lake State Preserve Rare Dragonfly

I had read about these three large natural bay lakes having a rare dragonfly Belle's Sanddragon along their sandy shores last year. We did a trip to Jones and Singletary lakes last year on June 15th, unfortunately the water was high and there was little sandy banks and we missed finding the Belle's Sanddragon.

Still determined this year I asked Meg if she wanted to go find these dragonflies, she said she would. So we left at 9am on Sunday and drove the 3 hours out there to Bay Tree lake the one lake we had not seen before. Many years ago White Lake was taken over by developers and became a private lake essentially so it was off our list. Once there we realized that developers had gained about 1/4 of Bay Tree's shoreline. Thanks to our North Carolina State Parks the east side of the lake is protected and we visited there. The sand track in was awful sketchy to drive in my Scion XB, we managed to drive in about a half mile and walked the rest in blazing heat.

The very first opening we found at the lake was just about 12 foot of sand and there was the Belle's Sanddragon, Progomphus bellei waiting for my camera. Lucky that there was only this bit of sandy shore as it got used to me then allowed many photos.

Belle's Sanddragon, Progomphus bellei

Above another Belle's Sanddragon, Progomphus bellei that perched in the shrubs along the shore of Bay Tree Lake. These are about 2.5 inches long and were only found along the shore line.

Here is a quote from the State Parks about the Belle's Sanddragon: This is clearly one of the rarer dragonflies in the southeastern part of the country, with a global rank of G3 and a status of Federal Species of Concern. Of note is that the species is not known at all from intervening SC or GA.


Above and below is a Common Sanddragon, Progomphus obscurus these are fairly common and are around 2 inches long. They can be found along the waters edge and in fields away from the water. The one was found along the South River at the boat launch not far from Bay Tree Lake.



Above is a female Faded Pennant (now called Ornate Pennant) Celithemis ornata when these are fresher the beautiful mantling on the wings is very ornate, but as you can see this one the mantling is almost gone or faded.

Here is a teneral male Amanda's Pennant, Celithemis amanda once it matures it will be red. Right now it looks like a mature female. This pose is called obelisking, they do this to cool off, it was very hot, just ask Meg.

14 comments:

spookydragonfly said...

I can just imagine what an awesome feeling it was to come across your rare dragon! Enjoyed all of your captures. Was Meg doing handstands to cool off?!

Janet said...

Randy, I have said it before, you find the neatest dragonflies!! Great!!

sweet bay said...

My favorite is Amanda's Pennant. Gorgeous dragonfly!

Grace Peterson said...

Amazing photos once again, Randy. Like little flying jewels, the markings are so intricate. I saw a sky blue dragonfly (or was it a damsel fly?) the other day. Probably very common... but it was awfully pretty.

Meg sure is a good sport.

oldcrow61 said...

Great captures. Lovely Dragons indeed.

NellJean said...

I've never seen obelisking before, just normal perching atop a rebar post. You got some wonderful shots.

If I thought standing on my head would be cooling, I'd try it on some of these hottest days we're having.

Heather said...

It looks like the harrowing drive and subsequent walk was well worth the effort. You got the pics you were after. Beautiful!

Warren Baker said...

Stunning Dragonflies, some wonderful photographs - excellent suff.

FlowerLady said...

Good morning Randy. I just came across your blog this morning and am glad I did. What wonderful photos of dragonflies. My favorite is the Amanda's Pennant. ~ As an aside, a few years ago we met on some forum and you sent me some seeds of bronze fennel, which I loved. I have regular fennel now, which the butterflies love. Thanks for the seeds back then and for spurring on my love of butterflies and gardening.

I will be back to read about the adventures you and Meg enjoy, both in your gardens and on the road.

FlowerLady

Barbara E said...

Thanks for the wonderful pictures and the great information with them. Obelisking - very cool. I'll try it when I am outside to see whether it helps with the heat.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Worth driving for that many hours to get all these shots! Obelisking is new to me but not the action--now I remember having seen it before . Beautiful patterns. And the last one is absolutely beautiful!

JRandSue said...

Great Blog with outstanding images.
Lovely.
John.

WiseAcre said...

I'm never disappointed when I visit. We need more holidays :)

Shady Gardener said...

Wonderful photos. The Sanddragon is great. Your last photo is amazing. :-)