30 May 2005

Our favorite retention ponds

We didn't really intend to go out today, the weather was supposed to be lousy. When the sun came out, we decided to go up to the northwestern corner of the county for a brief visit to the retention ponds at a partially developed office complex. There are only a couple of office buildings up, and once all the outlots are filled these little marshy areas will be inundated by parking lot runoff and be ruined. Meanwhile, they are clinging to their character, which must be influenced by some acid water or boggy heritage. Here, in this most unlikely place, we've found boggy species: Eastern Red Damsel (Amphiagrion saucium), Sedge Sprite (Nehalennia irene), Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata), and my namesake Elfin Skimmer (Nannothemis bella). All were county records and with the exception of the forktail, all have been found no place else in the county. Today the red damsels were on the wing, even though the basins/marshy spots were fairly dry. We saw the first Dot-tailed Whitefaces (Leucorrhinia intacta), Eastern Pondhawks (Erythemis simplicicollis), and Twelve-spotted Skimmers (Libellula pulchella) of the season, and Eastern Forktails were numerous.

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