There was a 2-hour walk for kids in the morning, and another one for grown-ups in the afternoon. We were each given a net and told to go on down to the pond and catch some bugs. It doesn't get any better than that!
Tim and I played grown-up for the day and attended the afternoon walk:
But we hear that the kids netted way more dragonflies and than we did. AND that fewer kids fell down in the mud! It's slippery out there! Three of us big folks went...
...ker-splat, including one of our fearless leaders.
Some decided that muddy toes were better at keeping them
than shoes, and ditched their footwear for the day.
One cool thing I learned is that, unlike butterflies, dragonflies are sturdy enough that you can pick them up without hurting them:
Here's a Black Saddlebags dragonfly. You can see how it got its name.
And this is orangy-red one is the
So, as you see, you can hold them. IF you can net them! Grown-ups, I recommend bringing a kid along!
Mostly, when we released them, they just flew right off to go about their dragonfly business. But one amazing woman had magic hands – they just didn't want to leave her.
This pretty blue-and-green Western Pondhawk was my favorite:
Guess whose hand it's on!
Cary scooped up a bucket of pond water. You never know what you'll find when you do that...
The stick-like fellow at the far left of the bucket is a damselfly nymph. After they hatch, they live underwater for anywhere from 1 to 3 years before they emerge and become creatures of the air!
The whopper of a critter that you see in the bucket is a water scorpion. For amazing facts about water scorpions (did you know they can fly?), check out Cary’s blog entry for April 26, 2008.
There were masses of dragonflies and damselflies at the ponds, but they weren't the only creatures about. We also saw several chorus frogs on willow leaves at Grimes Pond...
on the banks
of the pond
at Teal Slough,
what we think
might be a
Keep your eyes on the West Eugene Wetlands events calendar for walks like these. Or sign up for the e-newsletter to get your own personal invitation. You won't be disappointed!