Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flying Dragons

Today was my regular Tuesday off.  I love Tuesdays.  I had another relaxing day at home.  My fiance took the dog out at one point this afternoon and when he returned, he told me that I needed to get my camera and go outside.  He had discovered something interesting in the yard.  It was a big, white, fuzzy ball.  I snapped a few photos of it and then began probing it carefully with a stick.  I believe that this furry alien in the yard was a mushroom that became covered in a mold.  Mushrooms and mold are both types of fungus and both like warm, moist environments.  A mold spore must have found a moist home on the mushroom and flourished.

When that mystery was solved, I took a look around the yard.  It was a little cooler than it has been lately because of a welcome breeze.  It was sunny, but bearable in the shade thanks to the breeze.  I noticed that the yard was covered in Dragonflies!  They were zooming back and forth just a foot or two off of the ground.  They seemed to be hovering over the mowed areas of the yard.  There must have been some tasty bugs flying about.  The longer I stayed out, I began to notice that when the sun went behind a cloud, the Dragonflies would stop and perch.  When the sun came back out, they took flight again.  I wonder if the hunting was better in full sun or if their vision was better to see their prey.  How many Dragonflies do you see in this photo?

I believe that these are all the same type of Dragonfly, though I am hesitant to say exactly which type.  Dragonflies are very similar to one another and I am not certain about this one.  I am pretty sure though, that the yellowish Dragonfly is the female and the blue ones are males.  This particular guy was very patient and tolerant of me.  I was able to get several photos of it and even stick my macro lens right in its face.

Thought of the Day #16
The veins on a Dragonfly's wings are not in a random pattern like a finger print.  Each individual species of Dragonfly has a particular arrangement of veins on their wings.  They are part of an important structural design in the wing that keeps it strong and firm.  There is blood being circulated through the veins to keep them strong.  You may have seen some Dragonflies with spots on their wings.  The spots are blisters of blood which may add weight to the wings and reduce vibrations.  The Dragonfly eye is also rather intricate.  Up to 25,000 tiny lenses are working together to create one image for the Dragonfly.  I imagine it had a good laugh over my one, giant camera lens.


Lorena said...

I love dragonflies; maybe because when I used to go fishing with my grandmother, she'd tell me that seeing them was good luck for fishermen. And it did seem that any time one landed on the fishing rod, we caught fish... But then, the creek was pretty stocked with fish -- we ALWAYS caught something.

Ranger Amy said...

Good fishermen have great stories.