Flora, Fauna and the Creatures Inhabiting the Dragon
Spiny-backed Orbweaver by Teta Kain
These spiders are present every summer but they seem to be more prevalent this year. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been on the lookout for spiders lately. They are pretty small, usually not more than about a half an inch across at the widest part of their bodies.
Their webs are a thing of beauty, built in an open space with an anchor line across the top secured to vegetation on each side of the open space, then two lines down to the ground, eventually meeting each other to form a triangle.
An orb is built in the middle and sits smack-dab at the center, waiting for an unsuspecting bug to come by.
The oddest part is that they deposit little tufts along those outside guy lines that make the web very obvious. No one knows for sure why, but it is thought that perhaps they are attempting to make the web visible so that birds or bigger insects (dragonflies, etc.) won’t fly into them.
Dragon or Damselfy by Teta Kain
There are many different kinds of dragonflies and damselflies all along the Dragon, hawking along the shoreline and over the water.
Here’s an easy way to tell the difference between the two:
Dragonflies are usually robust strong fliers and always land with their wings spread out to the side as seen in the photograph of the Great Blue Skimmer pictured left.
Damselflies, on the other hand, are much daintier with a rather fluttery flight, and when they land, they hold their wings over their backs as the picture of the Ebony Jewelwing on the left shows.
Both species are common on the Dragon in the summer.