Sunday, October 9, 2011
Farm Talk - Dragonfly - Flighty, carefree!
This Dragonfly (Odonata) has donned her Spring finery, a bright blue, lacy little bra! Caught her getting a bit of a suntan on the rocks next to my pond this morning before all the males arrive!
Sometimes the period, just before spring arrives, is always filled with a few hollow promises - dragonflies appear at the pond, the Peach Tree starts preparing her blossoms and then, suddenly, a cold front dispels the promise of Spring.
There are 159 species of Odonata in South Africa and I've tried to narrow down the identification of this one, but to no avail. There seems to be thousands of variations, including differences between males and female as well as juveniles!
A close-up of the head and thorax
Menacing and marvelous, the dragonfly has for centuries captivated human imaginations with its daredevil flying maneuvers, vibrant colors and bullish disposition.
Pre-dating the dinosaur, this fascinating insect has long been the subject of chilling myths and legends. In fact, the dragonfly's terrifying syringe-like appearance earned it a laundry list of dastardly names in world-wide folklore including "Devil's Darner," "Water Witch" and "Snake Doctor."
In European and early-American myths, children were told that if they misbehaved, a dragonfly would sew shut their eyes and ears as they slept. Another myth warned that dragonflies were in cahoots with snakes and were able to wake them from the dead or warn them of impending danger. And in Swedish folklore, dragonflies were called "Blindsticka" or "Blind Stingers," and rumored to have had a penchant for picking out human eyes. The Swedes also believed that dragonflies were used by the Devil to weigh people's souls, and that, if a dragonfly swarmed around someone's head weighing his or her soul, that person could expect great injury!
Your delicate wings rapidly beat the air
The sleekness of your weightless body hovers
Curiously observing as though you care
Steadily searching for lifelong endeavors
Do you bring a message of a tranquil destiny?
Does your evolving maturity convey wisdom?
If I follow, will I find harmony or perplexity?
As you disappear… I am serenely lonesome
- Theresa Ann Moore
Camera : FujiFinepix 2800Zoom - Pics taken in my garden in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa.