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Into the early fall the meadowhawks and widow skimmers, such as the one above, were to be seen along the water’s edge.
They are fascinating creatures that have some elegance in their movements and postures. This seems to motivate a keen interest in dragonflies and damselflies by many in the nature reserves we visit. Few understand that they are looking at a very efficient hunter.
I was surprised to learn from a naturalist that when caught they can bite (harmless if a bit painful). It seems that to identify them more accurately and get a scientific name you have to look closely at their external organs. Princeton University has a book on damselflies and dragonflies. The book brings out their complexity in more detail than many of us need. However, it does a better job of explaining the life cycle and other traits of dragonflies and damselflies than many other field guides I have consulted. This lack of information makes other guides less helpful in finding animals than in identifying them once seen.