22 November 2014

Ophio Odyssey - day 2, last stop #5

The Paint River - upstream

I had rainy weather continuing on June 12th, 2014, but tried to check another location that looked good for odes on the map.

5th stop = The DNR boat launch at the Paint River Forks (46.23134, -88.7188).

At this location, the north fork (left) and south fork (right) come together.

I spent most of my time on the south fork due to weather and found a few dragonflies.

Exuviae finds =

South Fork

1 Pygmy Snaketail (Ophiogomphus howei)

1 Riffle Snaketail (O. anomalus)

5 snaketail sp. (Ohiogomphus sp.)

1 Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata)

North Branch

1 snaketail sp. (Ohiogomphus sp.)

Unfortunately, this was my last stop before heading to the DSA meeting in Wisconsin the next day.  If time allows in the future, I'll definitely want to check this and the previous posts' locations for odes again.

21 September 2014

Ophio Odyssey - day 2, stops 3 & 4

Two More Brule River Crossings on June 12th, 2014

3rd stop = Brule River at Hwy 73

This was a quick stop to check under the bridge (46.032529, -88.797263).

Exuviae found included 6 Ophiogomphus sp. and  3 Cordulegaster (likey maculata).

4th stop = Brule River at Hwy189

Another quick stop to check under the bridge (45.987746, -88.652184).

Here I found 6 Ophiogomphus sp.

31 August 2014

Archilestes Grandis : New Early Date for Michigan

On Tuesday, August 26th, I stopped by the Great Spreadwing (A. grandis) location in Wayne County.  

I was worried that the upstream construction at 7-Mile & Haggerty Road may wipe out the population of Archilestes grandis due to silt, etc.   I was pleased to find 4 females (3 tenerals) and 3 males (1 teneral) for a new early date in Michigan.

 We'll see if the development's future use of landscape chemicals and runoff impact the population.  I hope they're not impacted since it's great to be able to observe such a large damselfly in the area.

Ophio Odyssey - day 2, stop 2

2nd stop = Gathering of Exuviae at the Canoe Launch

Carney Dam along the Brule River

Finding this location isn't necessarily easy since the roads aren't square and aren't necessarily marked in the Gazetteer. However, the fields in the area contained Clay-colored Sparrows, Bobolinks, and Brewer's Blackbirds.

Upon arriving there is a small, cleared area to launch canoes (45.98066, -88.39839).  Much of the river bank isn't accessible by foot. 

The logs along the shoreline had several exuviae attached to them.

These included 9 Ophiogomphus (rupinsulensis or carolus).

Not a bad collection for a rainy morning.

27 July 2014

Ophio Odyssey - day 2, stop 1

1st stop = A swarm of mosquitoes and rain

Snake Rapids along the Net River

June 12th, the day called for rain most of the morning so I decided to scout for locations to check if/when the weather improved.  I saw this location noted in my gazetteer and saw a sign near Amasa giving a distance of several miles from the main road.   Some trout fishermen I saw later were surprised I made it to the river in my car since the road must normally be in bad shape.  This side road looked to be recently graded so travel was fine in my car.  There are many roads that connect to the Net River Road so I was never sure if I was going the right way until I arrived.  A couple of nice sightings were made on my drive to the river:  a Black Bear lumbered off the road about 1/2 mile from the boat launch and a Connecticut Warbler was singing a bit further away.

I was pleased to see the sign when I arrived:

View of the lake below the rapids:

The rapids themselves looked great for some wading and dragonfly searches on a dry weather day.

Looking back towards the lake / boat launch area:

During the rain, I found several exuviae along a log at the edge of the river.  

Surprisingly, this included one of my target species for the trip with one female Riffle Snaketail (O. anomalus). I believe this is a new river system to confirm this species' presence.  The others were also snaketails (O. rupinsulensis or carolus).

To access the log in the picture above, I had to go back to my car to put on my water shoes since I needed to wade in knee-deep water.  While changing my shoes at the car, the swarm of mosquitoes filled the interior.

It took me a day and a half to eventually get the little biters out.  It is annoying to be swatting mosquitoes as you're driving down the road, while others are sitting on the dashboard filled with blood.  That may have been the thickest swarm I have experienced.

However, this location looked spectacular and another visit is deserved in the future, with good weather.