1 year ago
Friday, November 5, 2010
Dragon Fly Study - In My Backyard
I've always liked biplanes. Wilbur & Orville's first prototype flow in windy Kitty Hawk NC was a Biplane, and I used to play with small metallic toy biplanes as a little kid. So it was with great delight this year, that I observed a significant increase in the number and variety of dragon flies in the back yard. Very early in the Spring we saw damsel flies, with their distinctive mono-plane architecture and small fuselages.
Some of them were thirstily drinking from the succulent aloe veras and ocotillos. Others were flying dive-bombing (drinking) sorties over the pool. Still others were refueling (copulating) in remarkable con-joined flights, elegantly, effortlessly as couples zoomed over head at 15 to 20mph horizontal velocities, abdomens locked together, coitus in-flight. Along with the black throated, Lucifer's, Costa's & Anna's hummingbirds, honey bees, paper wasps, striped lizards, vireos, mocking birds, bee & fly catchers, and the occasional tarantula hawk, the backyard is a cornucopia of life from dawn to dusk.
At night, the massive crickets come out, and the wolf spiders that hunt them as well. I've surgically eradicated the black widows after one of their brethren bit me and sent me to the hospital for a leg ultrasound - I'm not going to risk my health again. I've not seen the scorpions that also prey upon the giant crickets, but being quite urban and many blocks from the nearest open field, I doubt I'll see any / many.