I’m up in northern Wisconsin again. This is probably the earliest I’ve been up here, and the mosquitoes when I first arrived were awful.
Fortunately, I was rescued.
I never knew this before, but the way it works up north is that the mosquitoes hatch in early June. And there is nothing to eat them . . . for a bit.
Then the dragonflies finish their metamorphosis, and that started the next day.
This is what the dragonfly nymph (larva) looks like on the pier.
They started coming up out of the water onto the pier I was working on fixing. They’d sit there for a bit, and then split. And out would start to come the adult.
Looks like some kind of alien monster, doesn’t it?
Eventually the whole dragonfly would emerge, and it would sit there, letting its wings and exoskeleton dry.
Here’s another one that emerged.
Hard to believe all that fit inside the shell of the larva.
For a while there we had a real Diagon . . ., er, I mean, Dragon Alley. They were just lined up along the pier.
Once the dragonflies emerged, they started going after the mosquitoes big time. The dragonflies were flitting everywhere, and you could see a sudden zig or a zag and know they’d caught another mosquito. Things improved noticeably after just a few days.
And now for some bonus coverage: Loon Butt.
Of course there are plenty of loons in the northwoods. I happened to catch this one as it started to dive for fish.
OK, I also got it before it dove. I’m afraid lighting wasn’t quite right for photographing from where I was, so the red eye doesn’t show up very well.
It was a hard winter up here, as it was for much of the eastern U.S. There was way more ice that usual, and it did a number on the pier. (There was supposed to be a bubbler that went in the water in early spring that helped protect the pier, but it broke halfway through.)
That meant that I spent a lot of time, barefoot of course, walking around on the muck as I went from one pier point to another, evaluating and doing what had to be done. Nothing better for that than bare feet (even though others were grossed out by even the thought).
The ice even broken some of the supporting joists of the pier. Here’s an example of what it did.
I’ve mentioned before that the walking surface up here is just ideal for conditioning bare feet. There is a heavy layer of pine needles which provides a base stimulating texture. Along with that are twigs and small pine cones that really massage the sole.
It’s really nice up here. You just have to time it with the dragonflies.