Bug of the week: Skimmer on a bean pole

I thought I might as well start off the Bugs of the Week with something pretty.

 

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This dragonfly is a skimmer, most likely Libellula forensis, sitting on a bean pole in my back yard.  

Dragonflies are amazingly efficient aerial predators, but that’s not why I was so excited to see a skimmer near my house.  No, it was cool because most of the life stages of a dragonfly are aquatic, and I live on unusually dry ground (by Seattle standards), near the top of a ridge.  Adult dragonflies are capable of flying for considerable distances, but they generally don’t bother to go very far from a riparian environment where they can mate and lay eggs.

When I first moved into this house, dragonflies were rare visitors: maybe two or three sightings per year.  Now, I see them all the time.  It has nothing much to do with me, but it does mean that the effort to clean up Thornton Creek and its tributaries is having an effect.  So, (applause)!

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