Dragonflies and Damselflies · Insects

Small Wonders

As we get more familiar with our property and the animals that we see frequently, I find that I am noticing many smaller things that I didn’t focus on earlier.

DSC_0914water strider.jpg

A minute observation that I discovered was little red water mites on a water strider. To begin with I thought the water strider had red eyes, but I then noticed that there was also a “red eye” on its back. I did a little research and found that there are over 1,500 different species of water mites in Ontario. They are so tiny and there is no way I am going to start trying to identify those! Water striders are such cool bugs with the ability to walk on water. You can often see them because they live on the surface of quiet water.


A cloud of midges isn’t always a welcome sight, but with the sunlight illuminating them they are quite interesting to watch. The pillar of midges swarming together is actually a mating frenzy.

DSC_1064 dragonfly feeding.jpg

They are really annoying when they are around your face, but most are harmless. I really enjoyed watching the dragonflies flying in to feast on the flying protein.


This Emerald Spreadwing Damselfly disproves my previous observation that there are no Spreadwing Damselflies on our property. Perhaps it just wasn’t the right time for them to hatch when I was looking for them before.

DSC_2838damselflies mating.jpg

And I was delighted to see the little heart shape that they make when they mate. Normally I just see them when the male has taken hold of the female, but she hasn’t cooperated at that point.


Fireflies are amazing little creatures. They are actually beetles and don’t look anything like what I would expect them to look like after seeing them flashing in the dark. They have dedicated light organs under their abdomen and combine oxygen with a substance called luciferin to produce light. Seeing only that organ eliminated, I assumed they were much smaller than they actually are, until I found a beetle I didn’t recognize and researched to find out what it was.

DSC_1853missing wing dragonfly.jpg DSC_1865missing wing dragonfly.jpg

I was sad to find this little wonder on the dock. This dragonfly had lost a wing and I assume could no longer fly. It was interesting to be able to take a closer look at its face. Normally they fly away when I get too close and I don’t get a chance to take a good look. I couldn’t help this one, but I was able to save another from drowning.

DSC_1073drowning dragonfly.jpg

I was able to scoop this dragonfly up on my oar and let it dry out. Eventually, much to my delight, it flew away!


This thread-waisted wasp was on our car. It is slightly different and more colourful than one I found last year.

DSC_1848 Chrysomela bug.jpg

This Chrysomela bug was not one I have seen before and I wasn’t able to identify what type it is.

DSC_2089dock spider.jpg

I am not sure if this should have the word “small” attached to it! It was a “large” dock spider that we had to remove from the canoe before I would get in!

DSC_0922 tiny spider.jpg

Now this one is a tiny spider that I can enjoy. I love the way it was lit by the evening sun.


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