Flame Skimmers — A Season Ends and a New Season Begins

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I thought I’d celebrate the changing of the seasons in southern Arizona with one more post dedicated to what is one of my favorite dragonflies, the Flame Skimmer.

There is definitely a seasonal change afoot here. We’re finally seeing the end of hot weather, more than five months of scorching daytime heat. Now, evenings and early mornings have become crisp and afternoons have become comfortably warm. Our monsoon is behind us and we are experiencing the typically dry autumn weather.

In southern Arizona we have few frosts and what little freezing temperatures that we receive will not come for at least another couple of months. Our insect populations do not vanish in autumn as they do in a lot of northern locales. Rather, they sort of fade out for a few weeks and then, reappear as early as February. That’s certainly the case with dragonflies. They’re still a very common sight but will diminish considerably in number in the weeks to come. Some species won’t vanish entirely and others will appear again relatively soon.

Flame Skimmers are among the hardiest of dragonflies. I can still find them now, and although they will disappear shortly, some individuals will turn up again as soon as the weather warms in late winter.

Southern Arizona does not experience the brilliant displays of changing leaves that are typical in our northern states. These big dragonflies’ all-orange bodies and wings may be the closest thing to fall colors that we have.

I can occasionally find two of these dragonflies perching on the same bit of foliage.

So here’s to the Flame Skimmers. I will miss them for a few short months but I know that they will soon return.

Images made with a Canon R5, Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 IS L zoom lens, illuminated with Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 200, f11 @ 1/200.

One Reply to “Flame Skimmers — A Season Ends and a New Season Begins”

  1. Very nice & colorful!

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