Wetlands are filled with strange and wonderful things. They could be called the cradle of biodiversity, with both aquatic and terrestrial habitats available for a myriad of species. Birds, butterflies, water-born insects, fish and turtles all have their habitat niche.
One of the species which thrives in marshes, has a strange life-cycle, born of the water and taking to the sky in adulthood. A relentless predator, and yet prey to larger species during all of its life cycles. One of the earliest species to come forth on earth- out of the mire and muck- the dragonfly.
Black Saddlebags, Tramea lacerata photo by Warren Uxley
Several species of dragon and damselflies were abundant at Meadowbrook Marsh. The large bodied Common Green Darners were plying their trade above the grasses in the meadow, endeavoring lunch on the wing. Black Saddlebags were found hidden near the edge of the woods, with a wait-and-see attitude toward prey.
The more common of the two species, Carolina Saddlebags can arrive in Ohio as early as April. I have seen this species several times, and I am always most likely to go with the "commonest" of species. The "Ring-billed Gull, or Red-tailed Hawks" are always first to come to mind.