Dragonfly – 300,000,000 Years In the Making

Wildlife photograph just ain’t my thing, but exceptions can be made. As I was walking into a Salt Grass Steakhouse for lunch, I saw this dragonfly hovering around the evergreens. I had a camera handy (see If You Dont Have a Camera) so I snapped a quick picture.

The dragonfly is one of those insects in the category, along with ladybugs and butterflies, of “Bugs People Like,” probably because a dragonfly can’t bite you. This is distinct from the other category of insects named “Stomp the sucker right now!”

Although it can’t bite people, the dragonfly is a voracious and effective hunter, eating up to five times its body weight each day. Unless its prey is particularly big, it doesn’t even stop to eat. Instead, it munches its snack on the fly the same way we tend to snarf down our McDonalds in the car on the way to where we need to be.

I’m pretty sure that an ancestral dragonfly wouldn’t make it into the cute bug category. There’s fossil evidence from 300 million years ago of dragonflies with 30 inch wingspans. How’d you like to have one of those flitting in your back yard?

I said I didn’t photograph wildlife, and that’s true, but I do have three pictures of wild animals: this dragonfly, a bunny in my backyard, and a batch of Canadian geese wandering next to a parking lot. The bunny was nervous, the dragonfly was oblivious, but trust me: those geese are unafraid of man. I don’t think “wild” applies to them so I suppose I really have only two photographs.

And that’s enough for me.

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