Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The dragonflies are back again this year. They started hatching on May 21st and they are still hatching. There are not as many this year, you might see 8 - 10 per day, of course that's what I see there are a lot that we don't see. But they are still coming. Last year we had 2 -3 days where you could count at least 25 - 30 hatching in all different stages. This is about a week early for the hatching to start. But here in Maine we have had exceptional weather. Everything is early, the baby geese are big enough to be swimming and I saw three baby robins today. Keep you posted on how long the dragonflies keep hatching.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
What a Cool Vacation !!
Last year I decided to take a vacation in Maine. I found a nice quiet place in Brookton Maine called Birchwood Cottages. The place was just what I was looking for, a quiet, small place with a housekeeping cottage on the shore of Jackson Brook Lake. Now I can relax, enjoy the nature and do some bass fishing for the next two weeks.
I arrived the third week of May, the weather was perfect not too hot and not too cold. I rented a boat and did a lot of bass fishing and yes I caught some nice bass (three - four pounder’s ). What could be better than this, fishing and relaxing during the day and listening to the call of the loons by the camp fire in the evenings.
On the second week of my vacation, I noticed the owners of Birchwood Cottages, Richard and Sally Hescock, taking pictures of something on the side of one of the cottages. I being of curious nature went to see what was so interesting. Sally was taking pictures of a dragonfly hatching. She went on to explain the life cycle of a dragonfly. There are three stages of the life cycle of a dragonfly, the egg, the nymph, and the adult dragonfly.
The female dragonfly will lay her eggs on a plant in the water, or if she can’t find a plant she will just drop her eggs into the water. Once the eggs are hatched, the life cycle begins as a nymph. The nymph looks like an ugly bug with no wings and has a crusty hump hanging onto it’s back. The nymph lines in the water while they grow and develop into dragonflies. This cycle can take up to four to five years to complete. Dragonfly nymphs live in small lakes and ponds because the waters are calmer.
In the spring once the nymph is fully grown and the weather is right, it will complete the cycle into a dragonfly, by crawling out of the water and attach it’s self to a plant, tree, even the side of a house. This is the cycle that I came in on. The nymph has attached it’s self to the side of the cottage. It takes about 15-20 minutes and you will start to see the hump on it’s back start to open. I kept watching and the opening kept getting larger, then I could see something emerging from the opening on it’s back. The dragonfly continues to come out upside down until it is almost fully out. Then this little dragonfly with no wings yet, starts rocking up and down until it gets enough motion to attach it’s self up right on the nymph and then pulls the tail out of the opening. The dragonfly hangs on to the shell of the nymph (which is a dry shell now) to dry and grow it’s wings. The drying process takes one to two hours. When the dragonfly has dried the wings will start fluttering and he flies off and the life cycle starts all over again. The adult dragonfly only lives for two months.
Now not only did I have a great relaxing fishing vacation, but I saw a part of nature that I never knew before and very few people get to see for themselves.
So now every time I see a dragonfly I remember my vacation at Birchwood Cottages in Maine.
I tell you if you want a relaxing vacation with no phones ringing att the time, I mean a real get away from it all, Birchwood Cottages on Jackson Brook Lake in Brookton Maine is the place to go. The cottages are right on the shore of the lake and has everything that you might need to enjoy yourself.
Check out Birchwood Cottages website: http://www.birchwoodcottages.com
Richard and Sally are willing to answer any questions you might have and are always willing to help you whenever they can.
Also the dragonflies start hatching around the last week of May or the first week of June and you can see the cycle for about a week.