Well I was finally able to get away for a couple of days for my first ode trip to the Big Bend area. It was a spontaneous "wake up in the early morning and ask Honey if I could go to Big Bend" trip. Luckily I had been talking about it for a few weeks and she wasn't too surprised and said it was OK. So I packed and took off. I went with a want list of a half dozen species and was concerned that it might be too late in the fall to see much. As it turned out the weather was warm and odes were plentiful. A more experienced oder would have seen a lot more but I was happy with my results. Of course the star of the trip was the dazzling Mayan Setwing. I'll get to them in a bit.
I managed to get to Pena Colorado south of Marathon in the late afternoon and was relieved to see lots of dragonflies at the first stream crossing. Having been here several times before as a birder I had a good idea of the spots I wanted to check out. The first new bug for me was the very common Plateau Dragonlet.
Also new for me was an Autumn Meadowhawk. At least that's what I think it was.
Also saw Flame and Comanche Skimmers, Eastern Amberwing, Common Green Darner and a bunch of damselflies I need to work on. Here's a Desert Whitetail.
After spending the night in Alpine, I drove over to Marfa and then south to Presidio. Cibola Creek in the old mining town of Shafter povided my first and only Red Rock Skimmers.
I stopped at Fort Leaton State Park to get a permit for Big Bend State Park. A covey of Gambel's Quail were a nice surprise. Too bad I had the wrong lens.
The next target was Ojito Adentro in Big Bend State Park. "Ojito" literally means "little eye" in Spanish and in this case refers to a freshwater spring. The grove of cottonwoods stands out in comparison to the xeric landscape and holds a small spring fed creek which is the home to a population of Mayan Setwings. They are very hard to find elsewhere north of Mexico
Here I found at least a dozen of the brightly colored sprites. Their glowing red bodies contasted with the cool dark green vegetation in this marvellous little canyon.
Also present were lots of Great Spreadwings. This one is chowing down on one of his smaller cousins.
Another dragonfly I really wanted to see was the Giant Darner. This one hunted along the pool at the base of the pouroff. This is the best shot I could get.
One of my favorite denizens of southwestern canyons in the Canyon Treefrog. Spending all day sitting in the shade on a cool rock is my kind of lifestyle.
Several Flame Skimmers interacted with the Mayan Setwings but didn't seem to bother them too much.
I reluctanly left the canyon and headed back down to the river to look for Gomphids. My first stop turned up the female White-banded Ringtail.
A bit farther along the "Camino del Rio" I found this Russet-tipped Clubtail. They're quite different from our local ones.
I finally got a good pic of a Filigree Skimmer.
I was hungry and stopped for dinner at La Kiva in Terlingua for some of the best brisket I've ever eaten. What a weird funky place! With a full belly and lots of ode pics I dediced I needed to get back home.