Lessons from a Dragonfly!

 

(FYI: A dragonfly can spend up to several years underwater until it is strong enough to surface, shed its skin and evolve into this beautiful creature. Then it flies free among us but only for a very brief period of up to 2 months before it dies.)

I have been going to the bird refuge all summer but the birds are few and far between.  I’m excited that the entire refuge will open back up on September 15th because nesting season will be over. 

This is a beautiful sunflower that is growing wild along the road.

DSC_7219sunflower

       Lessons from a Dragonfly

A dragonfly accepts it’s brevity of life
With its gossamer wings feeling the breeze
Full of freedom it watches our joy and our strife
Its wisdom learned flitting from water to air to trees
With wings that shimmer showing purpose and duty
Obedient to all of life’s changes in flight
Modestly it shows us its outer beauty
Always gracious, mindful and full of delight
So whether what life gives you is good, bad, or sad
Show others that inner beauty counts and matters
Make your actions amount to many smiles and be glad
For the dragonfly knows it lives a brief life this way
So I learn from this creature to live wisely each day
And make every minute special to those that you love
As the dragonfly watches our actions from above
~Ruth O’Neill

I have enjoyed taking pictures of dragonflies along the water edge of the wetlands.  They are so colorful and graceful.  I think they are stunningly beautiful.

Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata)

DSC_7157green-yellow-dragonfly

DSC_7172blue-dragonfly-eating

This blue dragonfly is eating an insect leg.

DSC_7188yellow-dragonfly

DSC_7202yellow-dragofly-fencepost

DSC_7231blueblack-dragonfly

DSC_7145frog

I would like to catch this little frog for our pond.  We had tadpoles that hatched a couple of years ago but as soon as they became frogs they hopped off.  Pet shops won’t sell frogs for ponds anymore because of health codes.

I found the following information on the internet and thought it was interesting.  How well do you know the facts about dragonflies?

Can you tell the difference between the myths and the facts about dragonflies?

  1. A bee flaps its wings about 300 times per second, but a dragonfly flaps its wings at only about 30 beats per second. (fact, dragonflies have two sets of wings so they don’t have to beat them as much to fly.)

  2. A dragonfly is a very strong and good flyer, and can fly at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour. (fact, but not all dragonflies are that fast – one was clocked at this speed in Australia)

  3. Dragonflies are known as snake doctors because they can bring dead snakes back to life. (myth)

  4. There were huge dinosaur dragonflies that lived 300 million years ago. (fact – the largest fossil found had a 2 ½ foot wingspan, and currently there are dragonflies in Costa Rica that measure 7 ½ inches across the wings.)

  5. Dragonflies have huge stingers and some people are allergic to their stings and can die. (myth – the thing that looks like a stinger on a dragonfly is actually called a clasper and the male dragonfly uses it to hold onto the female when they are mating.)

  6. There are about 5,000 different species of dragonflies all over the world except in Antarctica. 450 of the species can be found in the United States and about 80 species in British Columbia. (fact, most of the 5,000 species are found in remote, tropical areas.)

  7. A dragonfly’s eyes have about 30,000 lenses and a dragonfly can see all the way around it, but they don’t see details very well. (fact, a human eye only has one lens and sees better than a dragonfly, but only to the front and side of them.)

  8. From the time a dragonfly egg hatches, it can live anywhere from six months to six years, but only about two months as an actual dragonfly. (fact, most of the time spent is as a nymph in the water before the dragonfly’s metamorphosis into a full grown dragonfly.)

  9. In the old days, dragonflies would seek out bad kids and sew their mouths together with their claspers while they slept. Dragonflies were known as the devil’s darning needles. (myth – dragonflies don’t have pockets to carry the thread to the beds of sleeping wicked children.)

  10. A dragonfly’s scientific name is Odonta, which comes from the words “tooth-jawed” because the entomologist (insect scientist), Johann Christian Fabricius, who named them studied the dragonflies’ mouths in order to distinguish the different species. Now their wings are studied as well to classify dragonflies. (fact – other names for dragonflies around the world are water dipper in England, old glassy in China, and the ancient Celts called dragonflies big needle of wings.)

Enjoy the dragonflies while you can because before you know it they will be gone until next year.

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