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KK080111 Karen SASKATOON EXPRESS - August 1-7, 2016 - Page 12

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Dragonflies won’t bite us, but do eat mosquitoes Lorne Duczek for the Saskatoon Express uring the past few summers our yards have been invaded by big dragonflies. They hang on screens, on the sides of buildings, in trees and shrubs, and sometimes on us. Fortunately they do not bite and, as a plus, dragonflies feed on mosquitoes. When large numbers occur, they are very obvious because of their size and dazzling flight. These large dragonflies, with bodies about seven centimetres long, are darners. About eight species exist in our part of the province, but in urban areas only the Variable Darner is likely to be seen. It could almost be considered our domestic darner. Darner species are distinguished by the stripes on the thorax. The Variable Darner (Aeshna interrupta) has two straight thin stripes on the side of the thorax, which shows up in the photo. The male in the photo has blue markings on a black background. The females can be bluish like the male, or yellowish. Variable Darners start turning up in Saskatoon from the end of June to mid-July. The highest populations occur in July and they can be found outside of the city until October. Darners perch vertically – that is, hanging with the head pointing up and with the wings out to the side like an airplane. Darners have excellent eyesight so any quick movement will likely result in them flying off. If you want to get close, move slowly and you may be able to get a better look and even be able to take a close-up photo. The usual habitat for dragonflies is DC080106 Darlene

Ryder to release new album in December


(Continued from page 1) t was a brilliance which the Beatles and Cohen shared with their audiences. They knew how to be true and their songs were heavenly.” She played the guitar by 13, was introduced to some CBC play time by 18, and her first introduction to the Juno awards was in 2008 as best new artist. The Harmony album in 2012 came along with a trail-blazing style with Stompa and four other singles. That led to a review in the Globe and Mail which called Harmony “the lushest, boldest album of her career, the record she was destined to make.” Funny thing about it, Ryder admits today, was Stompa, an upbeat and energetic work, “was created for the fun of it, maybe a possibility for someone else to release and then I flipped it around and turned it into something for me.” The absolute biggest venue she ever played was Toronto’s Rogers Centre for the closing ceremonies of the PanAmerican Games in 2015. “There I was, in front of about 46,000 people, on stage after an appearance by Pitbull and to be followed by Kanye West. Right smack in the middle of two superstar acts and I had to pinch myself to make sure this was all for real. I didn’t get to meet Kanye, but someday, I hope I will.” The latest single, Got Your Number, was recorded at a bowling alley. “On most of my videos, I make my own choice of locations and content, but I always give other people in my artistic family a voice in the process,” she said. Got Your Number will be included on the album, Utopia, which will be released in December.


The Cherry-faced Meadowhawk is a colourful species of dragonfly, often seen actively feeding on mosquitoes and other flying insects in backyards and city parks. (Photo Supplied) aquatic. Due to the high yellowish. The Black Meadsnowfall and rainfall in the owhawk, which has black and past few years, there are yellow markings, is also a fremany sloughs around and quent visitor. Meadowhawks, therefore there is excellike other smaller dragonflies, lent habitat for dragonflies. perch horizontally with wings Darners lay eggs on or in held out to their sides. They vegetation, above or below usually select a sunny spot Nature Notes the water, in sloughs, ponds on top of low vegetation or and lakes. on a walkway. Other species The larvae develop in water. Adult of small dragonflies and their damselfly dragonflies and their larvae are predacousins can also be seen in our yards. cious, capturing and eating anything they Humans have had a long-time fascinacan overcome. Dragonflies spend a lot tion for dragonflies. Their images appear of time near water, but some species like in arts and crafts from old rock pictothe Variable Darner can stray far away graphs to modern jewellery. from water and into urban areas. Other smaller dragonflies also visit Lorne Duczek is a member of the Sasour yards and parks. The most comkatoon Nature Society. The SNS website is mon is the Cherry-faced Meadowhawk. at, or Mature males are red (as shown in the you can visit them on Facebook at www. photo) while females and juveniles are

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