Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dragonfly Apocalypse

Friend Chris Baker called it The Dragonfly Apocalypse.  My husband called to me to come look.  Last night, just as the sun was setting in the west and making a lovely reflection on the clouds in the east, he noticed the dragonflies.  Hundreds of them, frantically flying to and fro, crisscrossing the air above our heads.

They seemed to be in a hurry, but going nowhere fast.  And there were so many - more than I've ever seen in one place in my life.  I'd been noticing more of them flitting about the gardens in the last several days, but nothing like this.

Hundreds of dragonflies circled overhead

Some came as low as our heads, yet never making contact with us or each other.  They were high in the air too, well over the treetops and we have some pretty tall oaks that are a couple hundred years old.

We stood and watched them for awhile, marveling at the dragonfly dance in the air.  It was something special, to be sure, even if we didn't know just how or what was going on.

Watch video on YouTube

After taking several photographs and a video, I went inside and posted on Facebook.  Friend Heidi Eaton pointed me in the direction of The Dragonfly Woman's website, which explains some interesting details about dragonfly swarms. She encourages observers to report swarms and we reported this one on her site.

We had wondered if dragonflies migrate, and some species do, but what we witnessed was probably a feeding frenzy, in which they were feasting on gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. (Eat up, little buddies!)

We had an unusually isolated hot day - the hottest day of the year - with temperatures in the area hovering in the high 90s.  This may have had something to do with it, as other people all across the area reported seeing this.  The fact that observations were so widespread across a large area at close to the same latitude makes me wonder if it could be migration activity.

Or The Dragonfly Apocalypse.


Barbee' said...

How privileged you must feel to have been witness to this amazing event. Now I'll go to her site and read more about it. If you have too many, please send them my way. This summer has been a bad one for mosquitoes.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Oh wow! I've always wanted to catch this wonderful summer phenomenon on video but the conditions haven't ever been optimal. I'm so glad you did!

When I'm sitting outside on a summer evening and they do this, I always think of it as a "dragonfly canopy" that's my own personal mosquito and gnat squad. hee hee

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

blogger templates | Make Money Online