Thrown To The Dragons

You never know when an interesting event may happen and if you’re not observant you miss it. This evening was one of them as I noticed a bunch of dragonflies in my backyard. I almost let that fact slip by. But after walking about the yard I returned to realize this was not a normal occurrence. You don’t see this many dragonflies all concentrated in one relatively small area. Just how many are here I wondered?

Counting was very difficult with them flying madly around but I came to the conclusion there was over fifty. Wow, very unusual. I could see no reason for this so I slowly ventured out to the spot that I guessed to be the center of attention.

Walking among the dragons I found they were completely unconcerned at my presence. Standing among them I could sense there was far more than fifty. Completely silent in flight they were all around, some flew within inches of me. Whizzing by from every direction it was mesmerizing. I’m not sure how long I just stood and watched this spectacle. Out among them I could see their prey, a small insect that was a clumsy flier. I reached out and caught one of the bugs and then I knew what was happening, why the dragonflies were here. For I have seen this before when I was younger. At that very moment it was flying ant day, or perhaps it should be called the time of flying ants.

In this one area of my yard ants were taking flight to start new colonies. Evening light was poor when I took the picture above (click the image for a bigger version). It was a weird sight. Down on the ground the normal ants would harass the winged ones until they took off. They flew into near certain death by dragonfly. Fascinating.

I got chewed up by mosquitoes while I was enjoying all of this.