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  • Dragons, damsels among desert’s dazzling denizens

    Do you know the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly? The quickest way to tell which of the two insects you’re looking at is to observe them at rest; while a dragonfly keeps its wings extended, a damselfly will fold its wings back. Even at a distance, the difference is clear. 
    That’s one of many fascinating facts we learned at Dragonfly Day on the Santa Cruz River Oct. 2. The event included a livestream dragonfly hunt, guided in-person tours, and an open house at Mission Garden, where visitors could view dragonfly adults and larvae up-close. 

    This special event was a collaboration among Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation’s Environmental Education program; Pima County Regional Flood Control District; Town of Marana Parks and Recreation; the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment; Mission Garden; and the Sonoran Institute

    If you missed the event, don’t worry. You can still see plenty of dragonflies around the Santa Cruz River and at Mission Garden. Like many insects, dragonflies thrive in wet weather, so the recent rains have made them a common sight around Tucson over the past few months. 

    Want to make your very own dragonfly? Dragonfly Nature-to-Go kits are still available at some Pima County Public Library branches and at Mission Garden, courtesy of Environmental Education. Written materials and instructions for the kits are available online. 
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