Going Ode-ing

Amphiagrion abbreviatum_Western Red Damsel_ChicoBasinRanch-CO_LAH_3930-001The sun was beating down as we pushed through waist high weeds—reeds, grasses, and wild licorice with its Velcro stickers. I gulped another mouthful of warm water from my nearly empty bottle and swatted at a pesky deer fly as it flew off with a chunk of my arm.

Why would I choose such an inhospitable place to go for a walk? In a word—Odes. Odes is short for Odonata, the biological order containing dragonflies and damselflies.

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Like Dragonflies? Visit Bitter Lake NWR!

Widow Dragonfly_BitterLakeNWR-NM_LAH_9472-001I had never encountered so many dragonflies, both in sheer numbers and incredible variety. Birders speak of “hotspots”—places where birds tend to congregate. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, just outside of Roswell in southeastern New Mexico, is clearly a dragonfly hotspot.

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