Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dragonfly Walks at Grimes Pond, July 20

Hey you gu-uys!

If you missed the dragonfly walks at Teal Slough and Grimes Pond last Sunday (July 20th), you missed a whole lot of fun! The leaders were none other than Steve Gordon and Cary Kerst. I mean to tell you, you just can’t beat that! These fellows wrote the book on Dragonflies.

Yep, the book!

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.

Over a dozen different species were netted in all!

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
Cardinal Meadow-

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.

Here's a

Twelve-Spotted Skimmer

that stayed....

...and stayed!

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,
we saw
what we think
might be a
nutria house.

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!

1 comment:

elvira said...

I'm so glad you posted about this trip - I was just thinking about how I miss Steve & Cary's walks. And this morning in a very unsuspecting place (a school yard in the middle of town) we saw a black saddle-bags. I wish I had a net!

PS. Glad you guys are looking after wetlands! Thanks!