Huntley Meadows or land of the dragonflies?

June 25, 2010

If I had to choose, I’d say the latter was a better description of Huntley Meadows on Thursday in Alexandria. Dragonflies are out in full force.

Weather conditions lately in Northern Virginia have created high heat and humidity. Some sources put Thursday’s temps around 100. Let’s just say it’s warm.

Even though it delayed my outing until a later hour, all that heat and humidity seems to bode well for the dragonflies.

In other news, the vegetation has nearly reached its peak, and the cattails are almost fully formed, allowing for another interesting visual element in the park.

Rounding a corner near the observation tower, I saw a form in the distance and moved in for a closer look. A deer quickly popped up its head and stared in my direction.

For the next few minutes it went back and forth between phases of grazing and staring at me. I expected it to take off before too long, as many deer in the park had done before, but it didn’t. After exhausting most of the possibilities, I moved on.

A short distance down the informal trail, near where the Osprey feeds, I noticed an awful lot of movement in the low grasses. At first I thought crickets were hopping out of my way. As it turns out, the frogs have moved past their tadpole stage and are exploring the park.

Those were the bulk of my sightings, but I did see a muskrat and observe a number of tracks for other creatures.

After wrapping up my time near the boardwalk, I headed back down the trail that leaves the park. About halfway down, I noticed a beetle and then another. and another. and another… They were all moving to the same point in the trail, where I discovered a dead snake.

The garter snake surprised me at first, but when I realized fully what was going on, I relaxed and watched this curious activity. I’ve never known beetles to take this pack-style approach to scavenging. Have you?

Until next time.

2 Responses to “Huntley Meadows or land of the dragonflies?”

  1. Robby Sturgis Says:


  2. […] if anyone saw the post about the bizarre beetles and the snake, here is what’s left of […]

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