We’ve already established this wet summer has helped create a bumper crop of mosquitoes. Each time I think about having dinner outdoors on the deck, I check the time of day. Once the sun goes down, WE become dinner for the skeeters.
But lately I noticed a different pattern. Seems payback arrived early. The mosquitoes making my husband miserable and questioning our wetlands sanctuary, have now become the favorite suppertime meal for something else: the dragonfly.
They appear to be everywhere! At the mailbox, on the roof. They use our deck as a landing strip, lined up for a helping of mosquito! Go guys go!
Taking their pictures on our porch, these dragonflies seem defiant! Posing for a photo, zipping away and then landing right in front of my camera; their multi-faceted eyes take it all in stride. I decided to research this fast moving muncher. Where did they come from?
Seems by the time we see them with their transparent, almost fairy type wings, it’s at the end of their life cycle. Their larvae are water bound, often staying in ponds or wetlands for up to three years. They grow their wings to date and mate.
They’re super fast! Traveling almost 30 miles an hour; those giant eyes allow them to see 360 degrees! One of the oldest insects around, the dragonfly dates back more than 300 million years! There are roughly 400 varieties in the US; though I was able to photograph only two colors in my backyard.
In different cultures, they are either revered, feared or praised. From birth, they are predators. Not toward humans, but other animals. In the water stage, they’re eating other larvae or tiny fish, in the adult winged stage, they eat other flying insects. And that brings me back to why we noticed them in the first place, these zippy little buggers have given us back our outdoor space, sans mosquitoes!
Thank you, little dragon beasties!