For the first time ever, I spent two and a half days out with my camera last week and took virtually NO plant photos! Instead, it was wings, wings and more wings. And, of course, I have a new obsession….

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) (female)
Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus) (female)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

I arrived at Allen Acres a few miles south of Cravens, La., last Thursday afternoon at about 4 p.m. At 5 p.m., I started the dragonfly count with my first hour and a half to two-hour walk in the natural areas and gardens that surround the Bed & Breakfast and the Allen home.

On that very first circuit of the property, I focused totally on dragonflies. Thereafter, I found myself unable to resist the butterflies and other winged critters, and began to photograph whatever perched near me, without losing my focus on dragonflies. These other winged critters included numerous robber flies, a few bees and wasps, and, of course, the plentiful butterflies.

Indiana Robber Fly (Promachus hinei) (female
Indiana Robber Fly (Promachus hinei) (female)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

If I saw a dragonfly while out with Dr. Allen checking his moth sheets or just walking between the house and B&B, I made note of them as well. The results are gratifying! I documented nine species of dragonfly, both male and female of six of the species. Several of the species had not been observed at Allen Acres before. A few were new to me, too, like the Common Sanddragon above.

Saturday I was joined at Allen Acres by a lot of folks there to help with a butterfly count lead by Craig Marks, who has just published a wonderful guide, “Butterflies of Louisiana.” Of course, I continued to count dragonflies as well.

I spoke with Craig about coming to Northeast Louisiana to do a butterfly count with Master Naturalists and he is eager to come. We just have to come up with a good place to do it! So be thinking about that and we’ll talk about it at our 3rd Quarter meeting, now on the events calendar. More on that later!

I’m still processing photos, but if you want to see more dragonflies, plus the many other critters I documented, go to iNaturalist and search for Allen Acres BioBlitz 2018. More to come!

Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)
Carolina Sphinx (Manduca sexta)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

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