Swamp Darner Epiaeschna heros

A hefty dragonfly. Swarms sometimes in open areas around swamps and slow water with numbers in the hundreds. These great looping flights can dazzle. Swarms sometimes gather around emerging winged ant flights. Often flies at near darkness. Shelters in wooded areas and when flushed they sometimes fly directly at your forehead. Personally this makes me jump every time. They can often be seen moving through the understory and searching the limbs and leaves for prey. In hand, this is a fabulous thing. Will make dragon chasers out of just about anyone.

I am amazed by these eyes. Simply amazed. This was a large female. Her tail feathers are below, fresh and unbroken.

This is obviously freshly emerged. And the colors are muted and brown. Clinging to the shell home that housed it for 9 to 12 months.