Monday, June 11, 2007

Dragonflies & Damselflies

I have always liked dragonflies. I remember swimming in the river when I was a kid and watching the big, fat dragonflies over the water. Watching them and hearing the drone of their wings. Dragonflies make me think of summer.

There is a lot of info on the 'net about dragonflies. Also, there are a lot of places, businesses, books, web sites, etc. using 'dragonfly' in their name... tons of them. I found references to North American Indian folklore about the dragonfly, meanings for spring and water, and messenger, and also in stories from China and Japan. I also found out that dragonflies go by many different names, depending on where you are in the world... like darner, darning needle, devil's darning needle, ear sewer, mosquito fly, mosquito hawk, needle, skeeter hawk, snake doctor, snake feeder and spindle, just to name a few (I read there are more than 80!).

I also learned that some of the dragonflies aren't dragonflies at all... they're damselflies. Dragonflies and damselflies are similar; however, one of the main differences is that while at rest, the damselfly's wings are held along the body instead of outstretched... a dragonfly's wings are outstretched.

Both eat mosquitos and mosquito larvae. Good bugs.

Walking around our big pond, our small pond out back and around my sister, Kathy's, field, I've taken quite a few photos of these beautiful, mosquito-eating bugs.

I found the damselflies are more difficult to photograph... my camera didn't seem to want to focus on them, perhaps because they're so skinny. There were several of them near our small pond out back. On one bush along the trail near the pond, there were about twenty of these small blue damselflies, which I believe are called Blue Ringtails.

Among the weeds in the small pond, I found this pair mating...

Notice their wings are outstretched... but then, they're really not resting, are they?... I disturbed them and they flew up into a small tree near the pond, staying connected, where they lit for just a moment and then flew off, connected, into the sunset. How romantic.

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