Thursday, September 21, 2006

Summer doesn't want to let go

It's been quite dry for the last 3 months in Austin. All the prickly pear cactus are withered from drought and look as if they might die, though they are in no danger of that. I guess I could provide visuals, but face it, a picture of a shriveled-up cactus lacks universal appeal. Some of the deciduous trees are shedding their leaves early. The flame-leaf sumacs, which (along with a native oak) provide about the only fall color around here, have already turned brown and lost their leaves. On my walks in a Searight Park I see few bicyclists and fewer joggers. After a brief respite, afternoon temperatures are back in the 90s.

The dry weather also seems to have reduced the number of dragonflies. On my walk today I saw only four species, but--and here is the good news, for me at least--I got reasonably good photos of two which I had not gotten decent pictures of before, a band-winged dragonlet and a female blue dasher. (I've gotten lots of good photos of male blue dashers, but this female is a first.)

Female blue dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis

Band winged dragonlet, Erythrodiplax umbrata

click photos to enlarge

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