04 January 2015

Sharonville SGA - Jackson County

Jackson County, Michigan, hasn't been thoroughly surveyed for dragonflies through the years.  I've scouted a few areas for odes and Sharonville SGA seems to have great potential with a variety of habitats.

On July 6th, 2014, I visited a couple spots in the State Game Area.

#1: Tamarack Lake has good-looking habitat for some less common odes.  I've also found Ostrich Fern here which may be a new location for the county and/or state. 

Tamarack Lake = Aug-2013

Almost immediately, there were two species which can be difficult to voucher.  A Prince Baskettail (E. princeps) and two or three Banded Pennants (C. fasicata).  The baskettail tends to fly continuously over open water and the pennant typically worked the edge of the vegetation out in the water.  Trying to take advantage of an incoming light breeze, I tried to position myself in a location where the dragonflies might be pushed closer to shore and if a "conflict" between them ensued, I just might get lucky to snag one or two species.  The boardwalk/dock only sticks out over the water by a few feet and the surrounding shoreline and lake bottom is deep muck and silt.  Thus, I couldn't wade out into the water without the risk of being swallowed alive.

Patience was key to wait for the right "gust" of breeze and aggressive interactions, but I was able to snag the target species.

male Prince Baskettail may be the first county voucher

male Banded Pennant is the second county voucher

Of course, during the interaction I made a misstep and sank in above my rubber boots.

I almost lost my boot in the muck.

#2: Forest clearings SW of Tamarack Lake and north of Lutz Road

I found this location to be great for individuals in the upland environment and if it's late in the season one can't complain about the abundance of blackberries to snack on.  In 2013 I saw a few individuals that I didn't get a chance to document.

male Spangled Skimmer (L. cyanea)

female Racket-tailed Emerald (D. libera)

The green eyes of a Racket-tailed Emerald

It was apparently a Celithemis day.

male Calico Pennant (C. elisa)

male Halloween Pennant (C. eponina)

This SGA will need additional visits in the future since there are more months and habitats to explore.