Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dragonflies

This morning, we went to a Dragonfly workshop at Charlie Elliott, our local nature center. It was led by one of the experts on dragonflies - he wrote the southestern book, literally.

Giff gave us a slide show presentation and then we hit the ponds to catch them and even hold them for ourselves.


Gillen has his friend Cole here for the weekend and they weren't so sure about letting the dragonfly workshop take up valuable time out of their day. Thankfully, they ended up loving it and were the last ones to go back to the car. Jesse (here with his best friend Logan) treated it as a sport. He had a fierce need to catch as many dragonflies as possible.

He tried giving them the signal that they were cleared for a landing...
One seems to have chosen a runway behind Jesse.
Finally, he chose the strategy of running as fast as he could , net flying and eyes darting.He had caught many more when we first got there, when he wasn't trying so hard. The Olympics are giving us all a need to reach intensely, and with lightning speed, for our limits.

There were hundreds of dragonflies. I particularly liked this amber winged one. Up close, its wings are iridescent.I plan to sit on the stone bench in Gillen's garden and try to catch a glimpse of the nymphs coming out of his pond. They slowly leave their ecoskeletons in order to spread their wings and "harden" into dragonflies. This process takes about an hour and Giff said it is incredible. Dragonflies spend 90% of their lives, several years, as nymphs. The hour long process when they come out of their hard skins is their most dangerous time. They are also amazing to watch mate - their bodies form a heart shape as they connect.

9 comments:

diana(hahamommy) said...

I love dragonflies!!
Even moreso after learning the Dragonfly Story:
steventrapp.com/dragonfly-story.htm
The chaplain at the hospital handed out dragonfly rubbing stones when Hannah died...

Madeline said...

Thank you so much for that link and story, Diana. It is beautiful. I will now love them even more as well and will think of Hannah when I get to see one transforming, on a sunny rock in our pond.

littlepurplecow said...

I love dragonflies. They like to perch along a fence out here on the farm. It's so rare to capture them with my lens. Glad you had a great weekend!

Anne O said...

Hello, sweetie!

Just stopping in to say *hi* and wondering if you'll be at the L&L conference?? I don't read blogs...I only browse the photos (especially the *Shine* photo blogs!)...but it was nice to *find you* again and see your wonderful faces...

:)

Sona said...

I used to catch dragonflies when I was a kid - BY HAND!

There was nothing better in summer than learning the patience of catching one.

Your son will take away great memories of this.

Angie said...

Awwww. A heart shape while mating - sweet. Don't we all wish it was that easy?! haha

Madeline said...

Stephanie, I would love to take pictures with you. We'll have to do that next time we get together.

Anne, the kids and I will be at L&L and I was glad to see you would be there too. I need to check out your photo blog again. I had misplaced the link. I'm glad you visited!

Dawn said...

WOW! I never knew all that about dragonflies! Sounds like a fantastic workshop and a good time for all.

aoc gold said...

The Swing
(1)

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do.

(2)

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside

(3)

Till I look down on the garden green

Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again

Up in the air and down!
-----by runescape money