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The Dragonflies Are Out

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The dragonflies are out. I never knew why dragonflies were considered a symbol of luck until I spent spring up north in Minnesota. As the snow melts and the water warms, activity bubbles below the surface.

All at once, blackflies emerge.

They are painful little buggers. Swarms fly everywhere and they bite. They are miserable. For the last three years I have had to endure a little, or all of “black fly season”. Some people, like my wife, welt up when they are bit by blackflies. It’s worse than mosquitoes which are manageable. Birds and bats eat them, but not enough so you aren’t in danger of being eaten yourself. I have seen deer quake as they are being attacked by them.

As the water continues to warm, for the next two to three weeks, more activity bubbles under the surface. On the forest floor, ferns emerge and so do the pink lady slippers. We have three on our property. Trees start to leaf out.

The merganser fights with the wood duck every day. We watch the drama play out. The wood duck claimed the duck house and is sitting on her eggs. The merganser wants in to lay eggs so the wood duck incubates them. Mergansers are pretty, but moochers. As far as I can tell, the wood duck has been successful at defending her turf. Jump day is around Jun 12 by our best estimates.

One day, you will be driving or walking along the road and you will see a dragonfly. It’s a welcome sight. Like an island shipwreck survivor seeing a rescue boat.

Of course, the entire boreal forest ecosystem depends on the blackflies emerging.

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