Monday, May 23, 2011

Erythrodiplax berenice

Yesterday I did one the most enjoyable bikes rides in a while. I rode with a friend who is the science teacher at another international school in Barcelona, VE. We were both working in the Gallup, NM area at the same time, but never crossed paths that I can recall. 

Anyway, as science teachers, we had a lot to talk about and share when riding. I showed him some trails he wasn't familiar with. We stopped at several places along the ride including at a point overlooking the sea and watched wave phenomenon from above (100 meters up) and related it to our classroom lessons.

The highlight of the ride was near the end when encountered thousands of dragonflies. I've been riding the El Morro area for about 10 years and had never witnessed an emergence of dragonflies. I was curious about them. I kept thinking about a water source where the nymphs would live. There were no freshwater sources in the area, so my only conclusion was the sea. These must be marine dragonflies, so that's what I Googled ("marine dragonfly") and I came up with Erythrodiplax berenice. Good match! The specimens flying around yesterday looked very much like the gold and black variety shown in the the photo and link. Very cool!
Mountain biking gives me the opportunity to get to places to observe nature when I probably wouldn't have gone otherwise. I enjoy the challenge of singletrack climbs and descents, and the social aspect of it is a bonus.

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