Not only are dragonflies and damselflies magical and stunning creatures to observe and admire – they have staying power. They’ve been cruising around for 300 million years and their resiliency and adaptability is something we can learn from in these rapidly changing times.
Hawai’i is home to many gorgeous species of dragonflies and damselflies including the Giant Pinao, the Blackburn’s Skimmer, the Scarlet Kaua’i Damselfly and the Kaua’i Bog Damselfly. We do our part to provide habitat for these beauties when we include water features in our gardens.
Balanced water habitats attract dragonflies and damselflies to carry out their life-cycle. Beginning in the water, the dragonfly and damselfly live the majority of their lifespan submerged as a nymph. In this stage of development (which can last up to two years) they molt continuously as they grow – sometimes 8 or more times before they develop their signature double wings and take flight.
With extremely accurate hunting capabilities, we are especially fond of their mosquito control capabilities here on Kaua’i. Not only do they munch larvae in their underwater nymph stage, but also catch upwards of 50 mosquitos per day mid-air. They fixate on their prey and with up to 95% accuracy intercept the mosquitos’ flight- which is no easy feat! Their optic nerves are directly wired to send reflex-like impulses to their wings, diverting their flight with agility and grace. A big plus to including a water feature into your home sanctuary.
We have been finding ways to adapt over here at Garden Ponds in Kilauea. Not only are we still catering to our beloved water gardens, we have branched out to increase our staying power in these shifting times to include garden starts and soil amendments. A house favorite is the Buddha Blend – a rich array of minerals and natural additives including green sand, glacial dust, worm castings and much more. All backed by years of experience in giving your gardens that luscious glow. We’ve also embarked on brewing aerated compost tea (for sale by the gallon) that works as an excellent folier spray. We’re not reinventing the wheel, just changing with the times to include additional paths to gardening joys and successes.