3.28.2009

First Ode of Spring!

An odd shape on the surface of the canal caught my eye today. I focused my binoculars and discovered it was a dragonfly. The poor thing was stuck on the surface of the water -- I hate it when that happens. Try as I might, I was unable to reach the struggling critter. Luckily for me (and the dragonfly) our head maintenance mechanic has long legs. He maneuvered out onto the ram barge of the bridge, and using the telescoping pole we have he managed to scoop up the ode and deliver to me as I waited on the main section of the bridge.

After a quick cat bath -- dragonflies like to keep their eyes clean -- and some wing vibrating to dry off and warm up, the little guy was ready to fly off to hunt.

I always get a thrill when I hold a dragonfly in my hand. Next to frogs they are my favorite wild things.

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Common Baskettail

9 comments:

nfmgirl said...

They can really freak me out. However I did force myself to hold one when it appeared injured and kept flying into our buffet table at a cookout. I got it on my hand, squirming and "ew, ew, ew"-ing the whole time, and took it over to a bush and left it there.

I think they are really cool and I love watching and photographing them, but I really don't want them on me!

jozien said...

Really dragonfly is a suitable name. But how about libelle or libellule in French?
Thanks for setting it free.

swamp4me said...

nfmgirl,
LOL, I used to feel that way about crickets, of all things! Dragonflies seem to like to land on me so I guess it's a good thing that they don't freak me out.

jozien,
The French word for dragonfly does roll off the tongue well. The scientific name for the common whitetail dragonfly,Libellula lydia, is almost musical.

Pablo said...

Dragonflies seem to like to land on you? Ticks seems to like to land on me. It ain't fair!

gillesarbour said...

Wow! We still have snow on the ground here in Quebec. I love dragonflies but we won't see any for another 2 1/2 months at least. One of my greatest Nature pleasure is to observe the "birth" of a dragonfly when it breaks out of its exoskeleton. Fascinating! I used to gather mud and water form a pond - it always had 1 or 2 dragonfly larva. I would watch them in my aquarium until they came out and started flying.

swamp4me said...

pablo,
Don't worry, I get more than my fair share of ticks, too!

gillesarbour,
I agree! To watch an adult dragonfly emerge is a fascinating thing. It is a long process and they are so vulnerable during that time.

Kentucky Brat said...

Hi Swamp! Don't say long time no see... I come and read and steal your pictures for my desktop all the time. I am just quiet while doing it. I think I've just about run my mouth out. Sad huh... LOL

BUT, I love dragonflies. Down here we have these HUGE ones, along with the smaller ones. But the big ones are my favorites, at times you will find a swarm that is so thick, fast, loud and awesome that I just stand in awe.

I am happy that your swamp is waking up!

KY

gillesarbour said...

Vulnerable emerging adults - yes one day we were quietly sitting by a pond watching and marveling at this event taking place. A small mouse came out from under the log and very quickly snapped the defenseless dragonfly in an instant. You blink and you miss it. Ah! Nature...

swamp4me said...

Hey KYBrat! Glad to know you're still out there :)

gillesarbour,
Life is a constant dance. Wonder if something, in turn, gobbled up the mouse?