Friday, June 18, 2010


The dragonfly seems to me absolutely otherworldly. How does it manage to fly so expertly with two sets of wings? How are they coordinated so well with such a tiny brain? And yet they do acrobatics in their flight that would give a professional stunt pilot pause.

These are probably White Tails and they flew about the pond today in great numbers and with great abandon. Each of the past few days their numbers have increased. Today I promised myself that I would go to the pond alone, camera in hand, and spend as much time as I wanted to get my fill of them. Hopefully, too, to get some good photographs.

I picked my spot where I sensed the most activity and I waited. Hat firmly placed between me and the hot sun, I held my post while they flew back and forth. Anyone who wants to photograph dragonflies must choose a spot where they have a convenient spot to land. A nice clump of weeds near the pond's edge seemed appropriate.
They would dart about for some minutes on end and then decide another area was more to their liking. I'd stand there in the blazing sun until finally one would decide to come back and the rest would follow. They seem in constant competition, else battle. Perhaps it is play because I saw no enemy vanquished.

This one was particularly pretty in the brilliant noontime sun. His wings seemed veined cellophane. Looks how prominent the white tail is in this shot.
The other species were there, too: what Dad calls the "Devil's Darning Needle" and the "Snake Doctors" with their tube-like waists. Unlike the White Tails, they will not stop, not even for a moment.
On a side note, the walking path was so hot in the nearly-90 degree calm air that I saw where the luminaria were placed in the recent Relay for Life (American Cancer Society) showed signs of melting. I've seen the tiny pools of white wax there for a couple of weeks. Today the wax is liquid and runny and I tread between shiny pools as I made my way around.
I thought the wax would not degrade and be there forever. Not so. One nice hot day and it is melting into the asphalt.