Okay ... now what?
The 750 gallon circular aquaculture tank and the assorted aquariums around it have become something of an oasis during the long drought this year. Last year as the pond dried up, I rescued tiny bluegills from the final pond puddle and set them up in the big tank to wait out the dry period. Minnows and aquatic plants went into various stray aquariums for the same reason. All of this is outside and not covered in any way.
A variety of animals have discovered these artificial water bodies and either moved in or dropped in for a drink. Even though rainfall has returned, the surrounding area is still pretty dry so the visitors keep coming. This weekend, it was the dragonflies who monopolized the "fake pond".
Resting up for the duet.
There was all kinds of aerial combat and courting going on over the tank and when I stuck my finger out, this little guy used it as an LZ.
The aquariums each have Gambusia minnows in them to prevent mosquito propagation and the top of each is covered in duckweed.
The duckweed covering did not seem to be an obstacle for the female dragonflies who were busy laying eggs in these tanks.
Laying eggs while flying ... queen of the multitaskers.
On a real pond, this is where many a dragonfly meets it's end. I don't fish freshwater much anymore, but I remember as a kid cleaning largemouth bass that were stuffed with dragonflies. At that time, I did not know that female dragonflies lay eggs this way, so I pictured my bass leaping out and catching them in midair, but now I know better.
Other fish get them too. Not so long ago, I stood on a bridge and watched mudfish (bowfin) slurping dragonflies as they dipped their tails in the Waccasassa River.
Under the duckweed, in the shady dark, the young dragonfly nymphs will have to avoid the minnows while they are tiny.
If they do, after a few molts, the minnows will have to avoid the dragonfly nymph's deadly grasp.