The other day we saw a couple beautiful dragonflies on our walk. We excitedly followed them, hoping for a picture, but were disappointed when they flew off and were lost to sight.

Happily, the next day a couple of my children were surprised when they spotted two dragonflies in our yard perched on two dead branches in a pine tree. My daughter ran to get me, and, remembering our adventure from the day before and how quickly those dragonflies flew off, at first I assumed they had already flown away. However, she insisted that I would be able to see them, so I grabbed my camera and went to the tree, and there the dragonflies were, sitting there, enjoying being in the tree! There was a spotted one and a smaller orange-y colored one.  Sometimes the spotted one briefly flew off his branch but then returned, so my son deduced that he was probably flying off to grab an insect to eat.

In the picture below is the first dragonfly, the one my son spotted. I think it might be a twelve-spotted skimmer.

And then below that dragonfly, on a lower branch, my daughter spotted the dragonfly in the picture below.  I think it *might* be a flame skimmer, but I'm not sure.

Here you can see both dragonflies in the tree.  Can you find them?


BugGuide.com: Order Odonata - Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Northwest and Beyond

Dragonflies Photo Gallery by M. Plonsky

Wikipedia: Dragonfly

This page has a diagram of a dragonfly that children can color: Enchanged Learning: Dragonfly


  1. Hi! The first dragonfly is an Eight-spotted Skimmer (Libellula forensis). A Twelve-spotted (L. pulchella) would have a black spot at the tip of each wing in addition to the other spots.

    The second dragonfly looks like a female Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illotum), although I'm not sure that I can entirely rule out Red-veined Meadowhawk (S. madidum). Those white spots on the side of the thorax rule out Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata) and that would be bigger too--more like the size of the first dragonfly.


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