This morning, we went to a Dragonfly workshop at Charlie Elliott, our local nature center. It was led by one of the experts on dragonflies - he wrote the southestern book, literally.
Giff gave us a slide show presentation and then we hit the ponds to catch them and even hold them for ourselves.
Gillen has his friend Cole here for the weekend and they weren't so sure about letting the dragonfly workshop take up valuable time out of their day. Thankfully, they ended up loving it and were the last ones to go back to the car. Jesse (here with his best friend Logan) treated it as a sport. He had a fierce need to catch as many dragonflies as possible.
He tried giving them the signal that they were cleared for a landing...
One seems to have chosen a runway behind Jesse.
Finally, he chose the strategy of running as fast as he could , net flying and eyes darting.He had caught many more when we first got there, when he wasn't trying so hard. The Olympics are giving us all a need to reach intensely, and with lightning speed, for our limits.
There were hundreds of dragonflies. I particularly liked this amber winged one. Up close, its wings are iridescent.I plan to sit on the stone bench in Gillen's garden and try to catch a glimpse of the nymphs coming out of his pond. They slowly leave their ecoskeletons in order to spread their wings and "harden" into dragonflies. This process takes about an hour and Giff said it is incredible. Dragonflies spend 90% of their lives, several years, as nymphs. The hour long process when they come out of their hard skins is their most dangerous time. They are also amazing to watch mate - their bodies form a heart shape as they connect.