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Avg. High: 85° F
Avg. Low: 58° F
Max. High: 104° F (1954)
Min. Low: 40° F (1921)
Avg. Precip: 1.85"
Max. Precip: 7.46" (1919)
Average Snow: 0"
Max. Snow: 0"
Max Wind: NA
Rocky Mountain Columbine
Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)
Wild Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)
Parry Primrose (Primula parryi)
Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum)
Yellow-legged Meadowhawk - Steve Jones
After the springtime birds have become generally quiet, other winged creatures garner the attention of the summer naturalist. Butterflies are at their peak numbers, but another order of insect is peaking in the sky--the Odonata. These are the “toothed-jawed” insects known as dragonflies and damselflies.
Though not quite as conspicuous as the butterflies, the dragonflies do dazzle with a rainbow of colors, including emeralds, lavenders and reds. Many species have distinctive wing markings. Their names reflect their unique characteristics: Twelve-spotted Skimmer, American Rubyspot, Cherry-faced Meadowlark, Blue-eyed Darner.
Dragonfly watching peaks in midsummer, as the year-old nymphs emerge to spend a few weeks as acrobatic winged adults. An inspiration to many aeronautical engineers, the dragonflies use their four independent moving wings to climb, dive, hover, and fly backwards in the blink of an eye. These skills help them catch prey, maintain territories, mate, and lay eggs. In a few short weeks they will have completed their lives, and sewn the seeds for next summer’s swarm.
Several locales host good dragonfly air shows, including Walden/Sawhill Ponds, Pella Crossing (Hygiene) and Golden Ponds (
---Article by Scott Severs
All photos: Steve Jones
Read Ruth Carol Cushman and Stephen Jones's Nature Almanac column in the Daily Camera "Get Out" section the first Friday of each month.
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