I was sitting on my back porch the other night enjoying the cold weather and found myself thinking about how I can turn the privacy fenced backyard into my own little Big Thicket without breaking Wildwood's homeowner rules. As I was deep in thought, it dawned on me I had swatted at my arms and hands several times, and the next time I took a swat, looked at the little miscreant causing the disruption. Mosquitoes were disregarding the cold weather to hunt and conquer, using me like a buffet with their irritating little jabs! My first thought was "wait til it warms up and mosquito hawks tear you a new one" --for those of you who aren't familiar with the term "mosquito hawk" --it's a dragonfly, nemeses to mosquitos, and as I started learning today, a lot of other insects, including other dragonflies.
This led my thoughts down a different path, away from my little backyard, to the incredibly diverse world of the Big Thicket. As I struggled to extract any knowledge of dragonflies from memory, I found myself compelled to learn, or at least have a vague notion of what the 54 or so species of dragonflies and damselflies look like. Of course, when I do this type of exercise, I get to share what I dig up with whoever is cruising around the Thicket of Diversity website. I thought the best thing I could do is build a section on the website dedicated to dragonfly identification. --Damselflies will have their own section.
Photography by Michael J. Black ©
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