Dragonfly season

Just lately, the weather could be best described as having been ‘moody’. Some sultry nights, occasional hot sun, with daytime temperatures rarely reaching a seasonal norm. To balance this, we have had threatening clouds, some thunder and lightning, and raindrops as big as ten-pence pieces.

Following a long spell of constant heavy rain, this combination has seen the foliage and vegetation spring up to new heights, as well as an increase in the number of small biting insects. Halfway through July, it still doesn’t really feel much like summer, to be honest.

Walking with Ollie this afternoon, I dallied awhile, as he went to stand in the river to cool down. Hovering just above the surface, I noticed a huge dragonfly. It had a body as big as my thumb, and an impressive wingspan too. Unusually, it was a yellow/gold colour, not the iridescent greens and blues I have previously noticed. It was soon joined by others, their distinctive flying style seeming to take them off at right angles without effort. Smaller damsel flies stayed on nearby leaves, appearing to keep clear of their much larger relatives. Once these monsters appear, you can be sure that it really is summer, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

These large dragonflies are impressive insects indeed, and go about their business without any fear. If you get close enough, you might sometimes hear the motion of their wings, and be able to marvel at their controlled flight, and occasional bursts of speed. I am not an expert, but their confidence suggests that they are the kings and queens of their domain, and have no obvious predators. I sat watching them again for a while later on, as I rested on a bench. One thought occurred to me.

If they were as big as crows, we would be in serious trouble.

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16 thoughts on “Dragonfly season

  1. Here we have the crows… and seagulls 😦 and a couple of days ago I even had a young magpie tapping at my window as if he wanted to come in – Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Birds’ sprang to mind since that was about a Cornish farm. I’ll have the giant dragonflies any time πŸ™‚

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  2. The Meganeura of the Carboniferous period were large insects related to present-day dragonflies. They had wingspans of up to 25.6 inches (65 cm), So if they were alive today, they’d dwarf crows! The most impressive dragonfly/damselfly experience I’ve ever had was up at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, 87 miles (140 km) north of Las Vegas. There were so many of them hovering around our vehicle that it reminded me of the birdcage scene in “Barbarella,” only denser. They were mostly brown and blue in color, and quite large. Of course, there are also plenty of dragonflies/damselflies at The Wetlands on the eastern edge of Las Vegas. We always enjoy them.

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