Monday, August 4, 2008

A New Dragonfly & Damselfly

My 10 yr old nephew accompanied me on my afternoon walk today and thanks to his very young eagle eyes, I managed to get pics of a new dragonfly and my first damselfly!  I am quite excited and yes, life is such that this is great excitement :) and totally fun!  Whether my fertile imagination or not, even my nephew commented that they do not get all excited and fly away so much anymore when I am around - possibly because I have been tromping through every day....who knows?  This evening is set aside to do a bit of research and see if I can discover the names - the amber and brown striped wings are Halloween Pennant Dragonflies as I discovered and Baker Watson was kind to confirm.  It was another windy day here which means at least 60% of the pics come out blurred but I was pleased with those that came out!  YAY!
almost red Halloween Pennant w/ flyby in corner

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Storms and Dragons

I was chased indoors by the incoming storm - I figured a field is not a good place to be when a storm approaches :) - but I managed to get 2 NEW dragonflies before I came in!  The green one was very patient and sat right there while I fiddled and snapped but there was lots of activity along the canal so it was just quick!  I will go check later after the weather clears....

chasing me inside

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lifespan of a Dragonfly

I was looking at this picture of one of the dragonflies that I took a picture of:

and his wings seem a bit worse for wear and it was mentioned that the lifespan of a dragonfly is only 14 days so I found this:
"The lifespan of a dragonfly comprises of two-stages. After breeding the female dragonfly will deposit her eggs under or onto aquatic vegetation. Once the eggs have hatched the first stage in the lifestyle of a dragonfly can begin. This stage of a dragonfly's lifestyle is as an aquatic larvae, or 'nymph'. This stage will generally last between one and three years, during which time the larvae will act as a voracious predator of other insect larvae, tadpole and even small fish. Most other insect species, including moths and butterflies, go through a pupal stage before emerging as adults, however, dragonflies do not pupate. Instead the larval form will emerge from its aquatic environment and hang from the bank or a stem. From this position it will and bask in the warmth of the sunlight and undergo metamorphosis into its adult form. Once the larva's transformation is complete, the newly emerged adult will have to wait several hours before its wings dry out and become firm enough to fly. This is a critical time in the life cycle of the dragonfly as it is exposed to predation, which may even come from dragonfly larvae themselves. However, once the adult is able to fly it becomes once more a voracious predator, displaying its wonderful metallic armor. As an adult, its quarry will be flying insects and some of the larger dragonfly species may even predate its cousin the damsel fly.
Life as an adult sadly is a glorious burst, just long enough to reproduce. The adult dragonfly will not live beyond several months, depending on the quality of the weather. Generally speaking, if the weather is dry and warm then the adult may live as long as six months. However, in the short, and sometimes not so sweet summer of the British Isles, adults will tend not to live for longer than several weeks. If your eyes are keenly tuned to the air above rivers, lakes and ponds, you may just be fortunate enough to see a beautiful dragonfly dancing and darting, it is a truly marvelous sight indeed."

I am going to poke around some more about the loss of the wings - maybe another insect took a bite...anyways just for informational purposes...
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Friday Wanderings

towards the later afternoon, I was just too tempted by all the dartings of the dragonflies past my window by my desk so I grabbed the camera and headed out to see what all the activity was about - turns out was more about it being windy and they were busy zipping around and alighting for split seconds!  Was a good little tour and a nice little break from work.  I saw several new dragonflies today that I have never seen - one was neon green and I caught a quick snap but came out a little blurry and then there was a blue striped near the canal but he did not stop for a minute and, finally, there was a HUGE orange who was as interested in me as I was him!  He kept hovering just off my right shoulder no matter where I walked but never landed.  I was the crazy neighbor talking to him (*EYE ROLL*) and asking him to sit down for a sec for a picture so we will see what the weekend brings.  It was pretty windy so they were having a tough time hanging on - the squirrel on the other hand had no issues at all and seemed happy to pose!
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New Moon in Leo, Solar Eclipse & Bounty

Happy August 1 and Happy Friday!

Today is the New Moon in Leo and it also occurs on a Solar Eclipse that can be seen in China.
For those interested in the movement of the planets and how it affects your Universe, here is some info to check out:

Lisa Dale Miller's New Moon

Lisa had included a link to the NASA Eclipse home page but the link is not working and when I googled it - it would not come up so perhaps there was too much traffic and I will try later.

Today is also Lammas or Lughnasadh - Wiki Lughnasadh - a reminder to ancient folks that the bounties of summer needed to be harvested to sustain them through the winter and a celebration of Lugh - the God of Light.  Today - it is a good time to reflect on the sowing and reaping of our energies and actions in our lives from a personal, community and global perspective.
So my Friday wish is that your harvests are bountiful and that everyone has time to enjoy the weekend!
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