Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Travel TidBits: Dragonflies

Travel TidBits:  Dragonflies and solitary oaks on Blair Ranch

Coyote Hills

A couple of weeks ago I joined a group of hikers to search for dragonflies in the hills west of Coyote Valley.  Blair Ranch is a private property and was only accessible during this hike organized by the Santa Clara Open Space Authority and lead by 2 very knowledgeable naturalists.  Much was learned about Dragonflies and their lifecycle which is predominantly under water!

To the south, the thick marine layer brought moisture, enough for the oaks to stay green while the grass typical for this time of the year was all dried out.  Our hike brought us over a ridge to a small pond and soon we saw a myriad of dragonflies.

The meadow hawk - no this is not a bird - lurked in the dry grass and although observing with its big eyes it let me crawl quite close to capture it.

This blue beauty was found close to the pond sitting just for a second before taking off again.  We saw a Red-flame skimmer and the tiny common bluetail damselfly (below).

As we walked back the sun had broken through the cloud layer, we passed by this solitary oak capturing the essence of the California hills - standing tall struggling to stay alive in the hot summer sun by drawing the moisture from the frequent fog.  Gnarled but beautiful.

Til next time,