Dragonflies & Sumac, Ottawa

One day this past week, our walk took us first to Chapman Mills Conservation Area, a marshy area along the Rideau River about 15 minutes by car from our house. Except for a pair of mallards and some gulls, the usual birds had all gone: redwing blackbirds, waxwings, swallows.

On the other hand, the fall colours were showing at their best, with a big blue sky overhead.


Layers of sumac leaves in autumn colours


And the dragonflies were practically swarming the joint, on one of those fall days with summer temperatures.


Red-bodied drafgonfly on wooden boardwalk

Band-winged meadowhawk


Red-bodied dragonfly

Autumn meadowhawk

Thanks to a super helpful communication technician at Ontario Nature for identifying that I had photos of not one but two species (blush). It turns out that there are more dragonfly species than I dreamt of. I can’t speak for Horatio. Check out this pretty comprehensive list for Ontario.


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4 Responses to Dragonflies & Sumac, Ottawa

  1. Jim Robertson says:

    Chapman Mills certainly is a great little boardwalk (except when there are bikes and joggers on it like one day last week)

    It is scary how many different insects there out there (even within their own species – assuming I use the term specie correctly…..) There are more insects being discovered everyday.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – I think you’re using it correctly. The category up from species is genus, and Wikipedia tells me that species is the “basic unit of biological classification and taxonomic rank.” So, yeah, lots of species. And lots.

  2. Judith Umbach says:

    Beautiful photos! The sumac is wonderful – such colours hidden in once green leaves! Capturing dragonflies on a camera is a stunning feat!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Thanks! Sumac was new to me when I moved to Ontario – it still looks sort of prehistoric to my eyes.

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