Everyone loves dragonflies, so sparkly and shiny, their irridescent bodies flying around like fast bi-planes. And those eyes and they way they hover sometimes, its like they are looking into your very soul! Dragonflies are completely carnivorous, I just learned that so if you put a pond in your garden, you'll attract a bunch of them and they will wipe out the mosquito (east coast) and ant (west coast) population in the area. Yes, the key is water. Dragonflies like water so you'll need to build a pond in your backyard. Here's how.
First, dig a pond, large or small depending on how big you want it to be. The deeper the better in the center but, allow your pond a gradient, leading up to a shallow edge. Dragonflies like to hover above the water and crawl up onto the water plants to breed other baby dragonflies. So fish and racoons are discouraged in the pond environment, hence the depth in the center of the pond or vesel. You'll be wanting to incorporate lots of water plants, instead. Lilies, water lilies, cat tails and cala lillies, cosmos, and other flowers for around the edge, perhaps in an area that is out of the wind and in the full light of the afternoon. Be sure to consider elements like flagstone, sand, mosaic or flora all around your pond. A patio or seating area for one, two, or several people for entertaining? Make it fun and festive or serene and meditative, get creative! I think glass mosaic tiles and redwood decking would be nice. Some marble statues of nude bathers, peacocks, gryphons.... maybe an artfully placed stained glass window near a cedar minibar. Just let your mind run with it, this is your dragonfly pond and oasis. :)
Also, be sure to vote for laws that reduce water pollution. Streams and ponds should be kept pollution free so dragonflies and other animals don't have to face a an extinction level ever. 15% of all North American dragonflies are in danger of extinction due to water pollution according to the National Wildlife Federation.
"Dragonflies are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and butterflies. They are usually found around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands because their larvae, known as "nymphs", are aquatic.
Nymphs can deliver a painful bite when threatened. The wound should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent water-borne infections."
'Nymphs can deliver a cruel bite.' Watch out! Be good to those nymphs! Also when it comes to pond-building for dragonflies, any deep barrel or container will be attractive to them. It doesn't have to be a huge production. You can have half a wine barrel or you could have a huge Grecian urn and waterlilies and a little water nymph statue pouring more water into it and the dragonflies will come hang out and keep the mosquitos away.
Life (priest and poet say) is but a dream;
I wish no happier one than to be laid
Beneath a cool syringa’s scented shade,
Or wavy willow, by the running stream,
Brimful of moral, where the dragon-fly,
Wanders as careless and content as I.
Thanks for this fancy, insect king,
Of purple crest and filmy wing,
Who with indifference givest up
The water-lily’s golden cup,
To come again and overlook
What I am writing in my book.
Believe me, most who read the line
Will read with hornier eyes than thine;
And yet their souls shall live for ever,
And thine drop dead into the river!
God pardon them, O insect king,
Who fancy so unjust a thing!
-Walter Savage Landor