Given my abysmal skills at dragonfly identification I suspect this beautiful looking creature is some species of Red Meadowhawk Dragonfly.
Even though Fall is almost here there are some Dragonflies still buzzing about when the sun is out.
With all the other wildflowers long gone to seed a single thistle along the side of the road reminded me of one of those photos of the lone remaining watering hole in the Serengeti attracting animals from near and far for a nice cool drink. Only this thistle attracted the remaining nectar and pollen lovers in the area including skippers galore, whites and several alpine butterflies which all gathered to get that one last sip of nectar before summer slips away.
You never know what you will find hidden in the willows is what this guy was probably thinking when he noticed we were peeking in from the edge of his terrain. It always amazes me just how easy a creature the size of the moose can disappear from your sight with a simple step or two into the willows. Photographed near Cottonwood pass in Colorado.