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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Among the rocks

Yes, this is Sonoma County.  I was lucky enough to join a LandPath's hike to The Cedars today.  The Cedars is an amazing natural area northwest of the Austin Creek State Recreation Area.  It's only accessible via guided tours (many thanks to Roger, David, and Andy!).

I have quite a few pictures to share, but for now I'll post a couple of my favorite dragonfly images.

Austin Creek runs through this area as a relatively small, rocky creek.  These dragonflies specialize in this type of habitat.

Red Rock Skimmer (Paltothemis lineatipes).  The males are bright red, while females are grayer.  Both match the landscape well.  Here's the female (below).  I was thrilled to see this species, as it is one I definitely don't get to see on the coast!

And here's another wonderful riverine dragon, this one was perched in a shrub away from the creek.  Dragonflies will do this (spend time away from water) while maturing, resting, and feeding.

This is a male Bison Snaketail (Ophiogomphus bison).  The markings on the abdomen in this group of dragonflies looked snake-like to someone, hence the common name. 

To learn more about The Cedars, start with this excellent article in Fremontia by Roger Raiche.

And stay tuned for more pictures from one of Sonoma County's very special places...

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