Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Backyard Nature Wednesday: Dragonflies


It has not been a good year for most of the butterfly species that frequent my yard. The spring was unusually cool and wet. Then, all of a sudden, in late May, it turned hot and dry with a vengeance. Especially the dry part. We continue to be in a drought here and that doesn't really favor most of my backyard critters.

One that has not seemed to be adversely affected by the weather has been the dragonfly. They've been abundant around the yard this summer and they are fascinating creatures to watch.

I found this one hanging out by the goldfish pond, a popular spot for a lot of wildlife, a few days ago. Now, I'm not great at identifying dragonfly species, but I think this is one of the skimmers - possibly a Blue Dasher. (If you know different, please correct me!)

Dragonflies are very beneficial insects. They are predators which consume vast quantities of pest insects, both as aquatic larvae and as flying adults. For example, they find mosquitoes very tasty.

Plus they have a unique beauty all their own. It is no accident that dragonflies are often found as motifs in arts and crafts.

If you encounter dragonflies around your yard, take time to observe and appreciate them and don't do anything to discourage or harm them. They are your friends.

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