March 05, 2018

Dragonflies go through marvelous metamorphosis along the St. Croix River

My latest writing project has been a report on a remarkable day of dragonfly hunting on the upper St. Croix River. Here's an excerpt with a link to the full story at the bottom.

Many times, dragonflies have landed on my canoe or kayak while I float down the St. Croix and its tributaries, resting and riding along. Their mix of ferocity and friendliness is intriguing, and it seems like they come in endless combinations of sizes and colors.

I always want to know what I’m seeing, if it’s common or rare, what its presence says about the river, what its life is like, and how it fits into the whole ecosystem.

This curiosity is how I connected with some members of the Minnesota Dragonfly Society: Mitch Haag, Curt Oien, and Ron Lawrenz. I’ve tagged along with them previously around Marine on St. Croix, as well as the Red Lake Peatlands of northern Minnesota..

One late May day, we headed to the upper river to canoe and hopefully see some interesting species.

When I met up with them in the morning at Stevens Creek Landing, east of Rush City, the temperature was in the 50s and the sky was overcast and threatening to rain. Those were discouraging conditions to look for cold-blooded dragonflies. The bugs are most active on sunny days. When it’s warm, they are in top form and can pick off other insects easily, fueling their flight.

Then we discovered they were actually abundant — just not in the air.

Instead, the banks hosted a bonanza of dragonflies going through the biggest change of their lives.

Keep reading on St. Croix 360 »

Posted on March 05, 2018 21:21 by gregseitz gregseitz | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment