Dragonflies may well be the death of my overtaxed brain cells. I've always been so focused on learning to ID birds, especially warblers - 1st year, fledglings, etc - but since I was a kid I was fascinated by flying "darning needles" as my mom and her relatives called dragonflies.
Now that I've spent more time learning about dragonflies, and how to ID them, birds look like an easy task.
Take for instance this Eastern Pondhawk. Easy to identify for most of us due to its bright green appearance and size. (Great Pondhawks, which look similar, are a tropical species and not found much farther north than our southernmost states.)
But then consider this dragonfly:
Yes, you guessed it. It's also an Eastern Pondhawk (males are blue). Thankfully the hint of green on its face was an immediate clue, otherwise I would've spent tons of time trying to figure out if it was a slaty something, or a sooty something, or maybe just a blue something.
And don't even get me started on the Eastern Forktails. I'm still trying to make heads or tails of the dozen or so different photos I have, which oddly all seem to be of the same species, although they're all different colors and stripe patterns. That post will be appearing after I pester friends for help in positively identifying them...