Dragonflies

Many people took up bird-watching during the pandemic, but have you tried oding, which has been dubbed the new birding? Oding is the art of spotting dragonflies, a fascinating insect that was flying around earth even before the dinosaurs.

There are lots of places to see dragonflies in D.C., but the first place to go is Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth is the largest tidal marsh in the area, and is filled with dragonflies (as well as the famous lotus and waterlilies).

©Miki Jourdan

Dragonflies have eyes with 360-degree vision, containing 30,000 lenses.

©Angela N.
©Miki Jourdan
©Angela N.

Dragonflies can be found anywhere there is a small pond of water. Here are some of the other good places to spot dragonflies around D.C.:

Tregaron Conservancy

Tregaron Conservancy is a nature enclave in Cleveland Park, with a pond on the south end.

©Victoria Pickering

National Zoo

There’s a small lily pond at the National Zoo.

©Angela N.

Rock Creek Park

There are lots of dragonflies along the creek in Rock Creek Park.

©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug

Kingman Island

Kingman Island is man-made, formed in the Anacostia by dredging about a hundred years ago. Dragonflies are abundant in the swampy areas at the south end of the island.

©Victoria Pickering

Constitution Gardens

©Miki Jourdan
©Miki Jourdan

National Arboretum

This one is a damselfly, not a dragonfly. You can tell the difference by the extremely long and thin body of the damselfly.

©Miki Jourdan

If a dragonfly lands on your head, it’s supposed to bring you luck, so wishing you all the best!

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6 Comments

  1. Love this post! And the photographs! Dragonflies are always too quick for me and the only time they posed long enough was when I rescued one from a pool. Huntley Meadows in Alexandria, VA is also a lovely place to spot dragonflies too especially along the raised walkways over the marsh.

    1. Thanks! And you are right, Huntley Meadows is a great location for dragonflies.

  2. I love the mid-air capture of a dragonfly. It looks like a flying object from an advanced civilization outside of our galaxy. It must’ve been a split second, a great capture Rob!

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