Monday, July 30, 2007

The Damselflies are so cute...

...unless you're a gnat, then they're the Peregrine Falcons of the Order Odonata. This Ebony Jewelwing grabbed a gnat right out of the air in front of me and landed on a stalk of grass. She was so engrossed in her meal she didn't mind me poking my finger under her belly and picking her off the grass. She ate for a few minutes then tossed the husk aside and took off, sated with gnat guts.

Damselflies are some of my favorites. Everyone has seen the Common Bluets everywhere there's a clean little spring-fed stream. The bigger

damsels (the broadwings) are still fairly common. In Wisconsin there are three; the Ebony Jewelwing, the American Rubyspot, and the River Jewelwing. The Rubyspot is also a favorite, as they're gregarious and land on just about any surface handy (including people, hats, paddles, canoe gunwales, etc.). If you aren't entertained by damselflies, something is seriously wrong with you.

The dragonflies were out in force too...mostly skimmers of various species...very territorial this time of year.

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