Dragonfly Days in the Midwest

Welcome to my blog, where I share news, great books, writing tips, and what is happening in the garden. I just categorized 3,700 photos I took this year. May and June are packed with wildlife events. Every May Jeff and I take off time for bird migration. We watch the weather and look for conditions that bring warblers to northwest Indiana and southwestern Michigan.

In June we are in bug mode: photographing butterflies, caterpillars, dragonflies, beetles, and just about any creature that comes to our yard. My Canon EOS 20D, equipped with a EFS 60mm macro, is constantly clicking. Then there are the wildlife rescues that invariably come at this time of year. We took an injured woodpecker to a rehabilitator. We helped the juvenile box turtle across the road.

Last week I operated on a dragonfly that emerged from its underwater nymph stage in the skimmer of our watergarden. At this critical, formative stage, it fell into the water. I found it, wings stuck together, and drying in this mangled shape. As the dragonfly crawled on my shirt, I gently used a leaf to separate its back wings so they would not dry together. One of its front wings was folded as well, but I was afraid I might injure it by trying to fix this part. So I left that wing alone. A day later I saw it flying in the garden. It is a female blue-dasher.

The bluets, which are damselflies, are visible in quantity. They are laying eggs.

I just finished a novel and sent it off to a publisher. Last week I received an early copy of BIRD, BIRD, BIRD: A CHIRPING CHANT, which is being released this fall. The art, by Gary Locke, is laugh out loud hilarious. I can’t wait for you to see it.

Common milkweed, swamp milkweed, and butterfly milkweed are all in bloom in our yard. The caterpillars are munching. I hope all of you out there are enjoying the summertime.

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