Time Flies and Dragons Too

June 6th, 2010

Yesterday was above 93 and so humid you could hang wall paper on on a pot bellied pig.  After a front passed in the night this morning was beautifully cool around 60 degrees F.  My kind of weather…  especially with a t-shirt, embracing that cool tingly feeling.  The days high reached the low 80’s which was a pleasant change, even if just for a day or two.   Hard to believe it’s almost summer.

Just after sunrise I went out and turned on the irrigation for the garden and watched a hummingbird zip over and hang on to a bean leaf while taking a shower! Little sprinkles from one of the drip lines were spraying the leaf, and he would just hang there flipping his little wings all around.  Alas, I didn’t have the camera…

Except for today, the previous three weeks were incredibly hot.  The higher temperatures really brought out the flowers.   Somehow I know summer is just about here when the orange day lilies bloom.

The flowers are nice of course, but that also means the insect populations are really exploding now too.  Especially the mosquitoes!   Goodness they’ve been everywhere, but one of the nice things about having a pond nearby is that it provides a breeding ground for many types of dragonflies.   Thankfully a primary staple of the dragonfly diet is the mosquito. These guys are expert hunters, almost like fighter jets of the insect world.

Reminds me of a story when I was a young high schooler. I remember fishing in Ontario, Canada on a trip with my father and brother.   Beautiful northern lake in early summer with wonderful fishing.   It was a small log cabin camp where you fished everyday together in a little boat, and then returned to the lodge for the lunch or the evening meal with a dozen or so other guests, family style.  

One night a gentleman didn’t return from his day out fishing.  We all finished dinner and sat around the lodge waiting and becoming increasingly worried.   It was well after dark, even with the late sunsets of the north, and the owners were about to call and report him missing.   Finally we heard the distant drone of a small boat motor approaching.

It was the wayward fisherman. He pulled up to the dock, wide-eyed and exhausted looking. He said he was in a little cove and couldn’t get the engine started.  He tried and tried to fix it until it became dark and his boat drifted near a forested shoreline.   He said that before he realized what was happening there were clouds of mosquitoes all around attacking him.  He was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and not at all prepared for a night out.   If you’re familiar with the northwoods you know some of those mosquitoes are huge.

He told how he was swatting mosquitoes in all directions, frantic and just about ready to jump in the lake for relief when he heard this amazing thrum of insect wings, with a different, deeper pitch, becoming louder and louder.   All of a sudden he saw an incredible flight of hundreds and hundreds of dragonflies cruising to his rescue and tearing through the clouds of mosquitoes.  He said they flew everywhere, relentlessly returning and circling his boat, and described how the dragonflies decimated the mosquitoes.  

He couldn’t believe it and said he was never so appreciative of an insect until that night.  Siezing the opportunity while the dragonflies attacked,  he put renewed vigor into his efforts to start the boat engine, finally succeeding and eventually making his way back to camp.  He didn’t go out alone again that week… :)

4 Responses to “Time Flies and Dragons Too”

  1. Those northern mosquitoes are fierce. That’s quite a story… I saw a dragonfly overhead just today out in the garden, which is unusual here. I hope he sticks around, now that I know he eats those beasties. :)

  2. I once dated a woman from northern Minnesota who opined that the official bird of that lovely state was the mosquito. How well I remember those bastards on a week long float in Wisconsin.



  3. Ed

    Having lived in Minnesota, I can vouch R. Sherman’s ex-date that the mosquito is the state bird.

    I would pay a sizable amount of money to be able to witness something like that someday.

  4. […] So until those sunny days arrive, I will continue to enjoy the posts of bloggers who live in warmer climes. Like Beau, for instance, making me feel all wistful about heat and humidity here https://foxhavenjournal.com/2010/06/06/time-flies-and-dragons-too/. […]

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