I have a large backlog of photos from last year that need to be processed and uploaded, and before long I'll probably resort to posting them completely at random. This time I happen to have one photo representing each of the three families of damselfly in Minnesota, so I'll just pretend that's a theme.
This is a Lyre-Tipped Spreadwing damselfly, in the lawn-dart pose characteristic of the spreadwing family (I can't help it that these names are repetitive). All damselflies have spines on their legs to catch bugs with; in this species they're so long and thick that the tibias look like TV aerials.
Broad-winged damselflies are river and stream specialists. There are only three species in Minnesota -- all big and beautiful, with a lazy, butterfly-like flight that shows off the markings on their wings.
This male River Jewelwing is unusual in that the bases of its wings are rather smoky -- or maybe that's just the light. Usually they're more transparent, so that when the insect floats along over the water, the four black wingtips look as if they're only casually associated with the body.
Pond damsels are generally small and almost always clear-winged. They breed in all kinds of aquatic habitats, which in Minnesota means they're everywhere.
This is an Eastern Forktail, a very widespread and abundant species. The blue-black-and-green color scheme indicates a male, except when it doesn't -- a few younger females have it too. When they're flying around in vegetation, the black parts can almost disappear against the background, so when I first started looking for damselflies it sometimes took me a moment to realize I wasn't seeing a tiny blue bug and a tiny green bug in orbit around each other.