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The 31st of May--UPDATE June 4th.

Lori

By Lori

10 comments


Another month has flown by…

Here, May is the month of blackflies and trying to stay out long enough to get all the grass cut before you’re devoured by the devils! May is also the first month of warm overnight temperatures…and the first mosquito hatch.
Can you think of anything faster or more evasive than a pesky mosquito? I’ve been out trying to get a picture of the mosquito’s nemesis…they are zooming around our place in the hundreds…they are the most interesting of insect predators. Dragonflies!
If you are expecting a photograph…you will be disappointed because they feed voraciously during the day. When feeding they fly non-stop…zipping and swerving in a gyre-like formation anywhere there is a swarm of mosquitoes. As a result …they’re too fast for my camera and finding one at rest is not going to happen. They never seem to lite on anything.
I am going to try to describe a walk up our driveway escorted by a squadron of dragonflies! …as you are nearing the open area at the front door you feel like you are caught in a vortex…but it’s not wind…or dust…it’s a cloud of mini-helicopters moving at mach 1!
At one point this morning, they were so numerous in the front yard that it looked like they were flocking to the area… but they weren’t…they are so numerous that most of the yards along our road are just as full of them.
The are like mini-dragons…(think Harry Potter)..and they are excellent predators.
I have posted pics of the swallowtail butterflies that are flying in record numbers all over the area…and now the dragonflies also in record numbers. I know that the Ministry of the Environment, not sure if Federal or Provincial, has a programme to breed and release dragonflies to help control West Nile Virus which is spread by infected Culex mosquitoes. Along with dragonfies, there are amphibians, bats and birds whose diets are mostly mosquitoes.
What I think is most likely..is that the township has purchased the nymphs and added them to the local rivers, ponds and creeks. when the night temps reach a happy medium then the nymphs emerge from the water where they’ve fed on mosquito larvae and attach themselves to a blade of grass or a reed and complete their life cycle by emerging as a hungry dragonfly.
Now I need to build some purple martin and bat houses, and be very careful cutting grass…(frogs and toads)…
Hubby and I were discussing the strange phenomenon…and he observed that as a sound track to a video we could play “Flight of the Valkyries”! I really wish I could have videoed the scene…it was just amazing and so nice to know that they are serving a purpose for us as well as providing a thrilling spectacle!


This little chipmunk is very shy…caught him/her with her mouth full of some insect!..you can just see a leg protruding from her mouth!

What a difference one or two warm days can make..we are back into the dreary coolness…but the attached tell a story…the big rock is out and the rhodo is planted…finally got a shot of a dragonfly…they have peaked it seems but the mosquitoes are still hatching! and the lilacs perfume the whole place.

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Comments

 

Brilliant! I'd much prefer to be caught up in a swarm of hungry Dragonflies than a swarm of your nasty-sounding black flies or mosquitoes - especially with the accompanying soundtrack!

During Summer we get one - yes, just one - dragonfly following us around as we water the garden with the hose which disturbs flying insects, so our 'animated helicopter' zooms in, then hovers around waiting for the next one. Like you - can't get a picture! Too fast, too wily! ;o)

1 Jun, 2011

 

what a vivid scene you describe Lori, thoroughly enjoyed the read & insight to your flora & fauna. A video of what you describe might be on youtube.
We had an amazing dragonfly year a while back when every cloth's peg on the washing line was a landing platform, counted over 200, (long washing line) with dozens more zipping above. Dragonflies as we know are unchanged for MILLIONS of years, now thats a fascinating fact that comes to mind when I stop what I'm doing to watch them.
I have seen youtube vids of how you provide purple martin accommodation, fascinating.
Thanks Lori.

1 Jun, 2011

 

Oh my! That was like reading a horror story Lori. Sorry, but I just cannot bear flying insects around me in numbers, especially not flies of any sort....oh dear...looks like my visit to Canada is off! I'm so glad you are not like me, you wouldn't be able to bear it!

1 Jun, 2011

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGU1P6lBW6Q ~ here is the flight in sound!!
its brilliant ~ i can see lori marching in with the escort! thousands of the flying dragons!!!

what a brilliant image lori and how incredible. they are beautiful creatures ~ i didnt realise how useful they also are!

a blurry shot of the dragonfly march would look good ~ im sure bampy will be able to play with photoshop and sort that one out??!!! ~ can you imagine the scene?

1 Jun, 2011

 

what a dragonfly story Lori, i have never heard about this happening. are they in turn being hunted by the purple martins and bats you're enticing in?
you are doing your bit for the ecology.
here its the other way round, we started to get them and then because of the draught our pond totally dried up, its not a small pond, about 3x5m and 1,5m deep in the middle, so we lost not only thousands of tadpoles, toad and frog, but also the dragonflies and their eggs.
i am trying to get to grips w all your latest blogs and fotos, just came back from cple of weeks in holland.

1 Jun, 2011

 

Thanks for all the great comments!
I've been really frustrated trying to get a pic of them...so in the bright morning light, about 7 a.m., I tried for another shot as the sun on their wings makes them shine golden yellow...you can judge for yourself the level of my success! lol...there were hundreds of them!...there really were! ...yeah ...sure.
The last pic is of a little friend who also helps with insect populations...but right now he's crashing Tufty's party...and she's not happy about it!
Resi: I honestly don't think they have a predator. for a bat to eat one of these would be like us trying to eat a 20lb. turkey in one gulp! the frogs and toads continue to thrive ...it's fun for Mandy to walk along the edge of the stream and nose out the frogs that go ..plunk...plunk...splash! into the stream...she looks at me as if to say:..."did you see that?" X-)....

1 Jun, 2011

 

Beautiful photos Lori, thanks for adding them!

1 Jun, 2011

 

thanks lori

that last one is wonderful.

1 Jun, 2011

 

Flight of the Valkyries, lol!. I just love it! What a great vividly descriptive blog. Lori! I can just envision it and now I'll have that great soundtrack running in my head for the rest of the day!! Love your chipmunk photo as well - it seems they also keep our insect population at bay! We are plagued by the mosquiotos here but thankfully no blackflies this far south! I do remember then well from my time living in the North, when we had to lather ourselves with 'Woodsman' repellant to venture outdoors (is there a worse smelling bug deterrent??).

2 Jun, 2011

 

Oh my...I remember that stuff! it was squishy and oily and if the bugs got in it they couldn't move! It enhanced the crawly feeling when they lit on you. I remember waking up in the morning with one eye swollen shut from a bite near my eye. Yeesh. and the smell of it is forever etched in my memory...that and Pic coils!

3 Jun, 2011

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