7/17/18 – Sawbill had a surprise visit this week from two members of the national Dragon Fly Society of the Americas. These dragon fly enthusiast were surveying for dragon flies near Temperance River when their car broke down and was stuck upon a logging road. Luckily Clare Shirley, owner of Sawbill, passed the enthusiast along the way and gave them a ride to Sawbill.
Turns out these two enthusiast came all the way from Texas and Maryland for the annual Dragon Fly Society of America conference being held at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, MN. This conference was being hosted by the Minnesota Dragon Fly society. The conference was a three day ordeal in which many enthusiast, professors and researchers came together to discuss the odonata clade of flies. Odonata is the proper scientific term for a clade of carnivorous flies which include dragonflies and damselflies.
For three days, pictures were shown, data was presented and discussions were conducted, all dedicated to dragonflies. One hundred and fifty species of Minnesotan odonatas were presented. Minnesota is abundant in dragonflies because many of it’s natural habitats such as bogs and creeks are ideal for dragonfly populations. This makes Minnesota the perfect place for dragonfly research.
Following the meetings, members would go out on excursions to collect information and pictures of dragonflies. The visitors to Sawbill reported that they saw over 76 species of odonata while surverying the land near Temperance River.
If you are interested in more information on Minnesota dragonflies and the odonata species, consider reading the book Dragonflies of the Northwoods written by Kurt Mead. This book includes the species and descriptions of dragonflies that can be seen around Minnesota.
Dragonflies are essential for the insect population health in the north woods. These beautiful flies come in arrays of shapes and colors and have been on Earth for over 300 million years! If this doesn’t make you love them yet, dragonflies can eat up to three hundred mosquitoes per day, which I’m sure everyone can appreciate when camping in the north woods.
The link for the Dragon Fly Society of Americas is posted below.