Saturday, September 03, 2011

Desperate for Water?

I saw this pair of blue skimmers on our back deck this afternoon. They flew in and the female acted like she was laying eggs in the crack, then moved the tip of her abdomen to each side of the crack for a bit, then put it back down into the crack. (At which point I woke up enough to realize I wanted a photo and grabbed my camera.) She didn't repeat the side to side exploration of the deck boards with her abdomen, but the pair stayed in this position for 5 minutes or so before flying off.

It looked for all the world like she was laying eggs in the crack of the deck. There's not much water around, but is it really this bad?


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Interesting. I'm surprised you even saw them with no water around.

greggo said...

Say how far are you from winfield? I feel your pain on the drought. Your plugs look good. Do you have any problem with bermuda grass? I grew 609 buffalo in san antonio and let it grow unmowed. It was awesome blowing in the wind. Good luck.

Gaia Gardener: said...

Sherlock, we've actually got a lot of dragonflies around this year - adults. I'm not sure that we'll have many around in the next couple years, though, as I have no idea where they'd be able to lay eggs where the nymphs could successfully survive.

Greggo, we're 45-50 miles to the northwest of Winfield. We'll probably be visiting the Winfield area in about 2 weeks, as a matter of fact!

I hate Bermuda grass. It is so invasive into flower beds, but never seems to look all that great as a lawn. And it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of, even with glyphosate. Glad to hear of your good experience with 609 buffalograss. The Prestige that we planted was also developed by U. of Nebraska and I have high hopes for it!

Melanie said...

Hey! Always nice to find another Ks gardener! I live in south central Ks, a couple hours from Wichita!! We, too are in the midst of droughty conditions!! Love your dragonfly photos! I have seen at least 5 different varieties at my little hobby pond this summer!! I love the electric blue ones. .it has been interesting to see them fly like that. .the one on back always gets dipped in the water. .I always smile. .thinking it is the female hollering. .get. .off. .of. .me while trying to drown him. .pretty sure that's not really what's going on..but my version tickles me every time :-) I'll be glad to keep checking in on your garden!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Melanie, sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your comment. I agree, it's always fun to find other Kansas gardeners!

When you see the dragonflies flying like that, they're mating. The female dips the tip of her abdomen in the water, laying her eggs. Young dragonflies live underwater for most of their lives as nymphs - fierce predators, despite the name. After a year or two or three, depending on the species, they finally emerge from the water and change into their adult, winged form to fly and mate.