The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Common Green Darner

Dragonfly on swiss chard

Picking Rhubarb Swiss Chard on a chilly morning, I nearly put my hand into a stunning dragonfly.  The insect was too cold to fly away immediately so it just quivered its wings as I snapped shot after shot.  Finally, its muscles were warm enough for liftoff, and the dragonfly sped off to nibble on gnats.

I suspect our healthy population of dragonflies (and bats) is part of the reason why we aren't plagued by biting insects, despite living next door to a swamp.  If you want dragonflies in your garden (and you do!), putting in even a tiny pond can do the trick, especially if you add some plants to give the dragonflies a spot to land.  As a kid, I transplanted some dragonfly nymphs from a more established pond to my tiny backyard water garden and was rewarded with a healthy dragonfly population for the rest of my childhood.

My dragonfly is a female Common Green Darner, distinguished from the male by the brown eyes.  Even if you don't care about dragonfly identification, you should check out the site linked above for the stunning photos.  Enjoy!

And check out Mark's homemade chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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