Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nature's Jewels

Today is a non-riding day - just too hot and humid. So, instead, a few nature pictures. Last week my husband and I had the opportunity to take a guided tour of a wonderful nature area in our county - Illinois Beach State Park. The park has diverse habitat and has been the subject of many years of restoration efforts - our tour was actually led by the volunteer steward who has been working there for many years. We had a beautiful day - sunny and not too hot - and just by chance were there on a day when two species of dragonflies were emerging. It's hard to even convey the huge numbers of dragonflies - they were whizzing everywhere, landing in the vegetation and there were so many the sky was full of them - there were probably as many as hundreds of thousands.

Our friend Nathan from the Liberty Prairie Conservancy - a very active land conservation and restoration organization in our part of the world - was on the tour with us and captured some wonderful photos of the two species of dragonflies. To my mind, dragonflies are nature's jewels.

Here is a Common Green Darner:

And here is the aptly-named Black Saddlebags (appropriate name for a horse blog!):

Dragonflies are among the most important predators of mosquitos, so the more of them I see, the happier I am!

10 comments:

  1. Illinois beach state park is so beautiful! Nice that you were able to get a tour of it and all those dragonflies are wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing the pictures!

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  2. Black saddlebags- what a cool looking bug with a great name.

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  3. Great time to not ride. Fab pictures

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  4. Love the pictures. Nature is so amazing. And three cheers for anything that eats mosquitoes for a living.

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  5. The pictures of the dragonflies are fabulous, so pretty.

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  6. http://gazettedubonton.blogspot.com/

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  7. I did not know dragonflies ate mosquitoes! I'll be laying out the welcome mat for them from now on.

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  8. Amazing shots. The one upshot of all this rain is that we seems to have lots and lots of dragonflies around. They are so beuatiful to watch.

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  9. I've never seen one with saddlebags. We have lots or realy pretty blue one here which makes me happy since my favorite colour is blue.

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