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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

End of summer

Summer offers little in the way of change in nature. This summer has been a busy one for me at the shop and has left little time for my usual onservations. The cooler seasons and fewer orders brings more opportunities. One of the best was recently on a fishing day at the wonderful Perkinsville access to White River.

The water was clear and the day was warm but not unbearably hot. There were dragonflies all over and as I was casting and reeling in, the largest dragonfly I have ever seen repeatedly landed on my rod. When I say repeatedly, I mean fifty or sixty times. When I cast, he would fly off a little but we would return. He was olive brown with yellow stripes and spots and unearthy large green metallic eyes.

He seemed to be attracted to the red stripes on my rod and he was so large, he had difficulty hanging on to the thin slick plastic rod. He followed where ever I moved up and down the river and did not seem to be frighted when I cast, even clinging to the rod through the cast sometimes. I wished that I had a camera but until I get a waterproof phone, I won't be fishing with a camera. When I had time later, I learned from the Internet that it was a Sand Dragon, named for the nymph that burrows in the sandy bottoms of streams. He was quite an intimidating creature and I thought of millions of years ago when higher oxygen levels allowed dragonflies to become as big as crows.

I have had dragonflies and damselflies land on my rod before, but never so persistently. The are the most colorful creatures I have ever seen, eclipsing even butterflies. Their metallic look makes them appear to have been manufactured in a machines shop.I learned there are seventeen species found in Indiana and September is their peak time as the gorge themselves on Mosquitos, their short flying lives ended by the coming of winter frosts. I have seen large groups of them flying in meadows.

I have also seen an increasing number of cormorants on the lake. A flight of ten flew over us as my wife and I dined outside at Wolfies. I saw several ospreys last week over the White river and Morse lake. Several people have told me about sightings of eagles along the river recently.
I saw a mink dash across the road on the way to Lapel and there were millions of dew covered spiderwebs visible in the fog Sunday morning. Life is a perpetual wonder!
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