Walking around the Farmersville-Jackson Twp. Pond today I came upon what I thought was a dead dragonfly ensnarled by a spider web. It hung between the rungs of the fence nearest the platform on the east side of the water. I kneeled down and thanked my lucky stars. Because the insect was dead, I could examine it at length and take photographs as slowly. A stuff breeze swayed it back and forth but I saw no movement to the dragonfly itself.
These three shots are actually just one at various stages of cropping and magnification. Look at the details of the insects body! It is truly amazing to be able to get so close.
A close-up of the wing itself shows the intricate structure in detail. It would seem that the left edge shows a rip, probably where the bug tried to extricate himself from the web.
After I finished taking photographs, I took my finger and touched the insect. He buzzed to life! Mom suggested I take the top of a grassy weed and try to help the insect escape from the web. With a little prodding, I was able to wrap the web onto the weed and the dragonfly broke free. He landed on the wooden fence, spent a moment gathering his senses and then flew off.
I feel honored to have been able to examine a dragonfly at such close range. Though we've saved this bug, I suppose we have left the spider - which was assured of a large meal - hungry. Thus is the way of life: help one, harm another. There is no easy answer.