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02 July 2008

dragonfly appreciation thread [More:]

okay after last night's creepfest brought to you by your Friendly Neighbourhood House Centipede (EW!!!), I thought it might make a nice summery topic and a fun change to post a thread about Insects That Don't Suck (or sting, or bite, or creep, or otherwise invoke the heebie jeebie dance). Dragon- and damselflies are (or should be) your summer best friends. They are a highly efficient predator that voraciously eats mosquitos, flies and other pest insects throughout all stages of their development. They're lovely, fascinating and pretty much everywhere.

This site is a little too poorly laid out and web 1.0 to be FPP-worthy over on the blue (even if I did have access to MeFi at work), but with a little digging and an immunity to crappy layout/design, it is still full of win and awesome, and if nothing else was well worth the fifteen minute mental holiday I took from the profoundly boring legal contract I've been doing rewrites on all morning.
I love dragonflies.

And hummingbirds, mainly cuz they're pretty but also because they eat fruit flies.
posted by occhiblu 02 July | 13:17
Also, I had no idea that dragonflies were predators. That is very cool.

Slightly related, I think: I was walking through the park yesterday and two birds were just shrieking and sound very, very upset so I looked up to see what was going on and saw a hawk grooming itself in a tree. The other tree-dwelling creatures were *not* amused. The hawk was completely ignoring them as they flew over and squawked in its face and then flew quickly away. The whole thing was so junior high that it made me giggle.
posted by occhiblu 02 July | 13:20
Fireflies! They're just starting to come out where I live. Nothing says summer like seeing fireflies at dusk.
posted by Joe Invisible 02 July | 13:36
I don't think I've ever seen a single dragonfly. They always seem to be mating when I catch them
posted by rmless2 02 July | 15:10
Because of rmless2's comment, I went searching for the mating habits of dragonflies and found Bug Love, which is kind of a sweet cross between the heebie jeebies and nice summery subjects.

Until seeing that site, I had no idea that "Awwww" and "Ewww" could be simultaneous reactions...
posted by occhiblu 02 July | 15:19
Dragonflies fuck in midair. Clearly they are the most awesome creatures in all the world. Plus, they're iridescent.
posted by mygothlaundry 02 July | 15:50
Dragonflies fuck in midair.

So do Richard Branson and Hugh Hefner (although not, I believe, each other) and most other people that own a private jet. Isn't that why people get private jets in the first place?
posted by Slack-a-gogo 02 July | 15:56
occhi, thanks for reintroducing me to Bug Love, very great summery topic indeed!

I saw scads of dragonflies (and bright blue damselflies, too) whilst out fishing/camping last week.
posted by lonefrontranger 02 July | 16:21
Funnily enough, here's a photo I took last week while wandering around the village I grew up in:
≡ Click to see image ≡

It was a good 6 inches long and was happy to stay still while I photographed it.
posted by cillit bang 02 July | 16:58
that's pretty good, bang!
posted by By the Grace of God 02 July | 17:22
I love dragonflies. Just recently they've been perching briefly on my bird feeder, buzzing around with the hummingbirds. I look forward every summer to both creatures. Just this morning I was rehanging one of my hummingbird feeders after refilling it. A male ruby throat came up and started feeding while it was still in my hand. I wished so much that some one else was around to see it.
posted by redvixen 02 July | 17:46
The hawk was completely ignoring them as they flew over and squawked in its face and then flew quickly away. The whole thing was so junior high that it made me giggle.

LT and I were walking through downtown Portland one day and heard such a ruckus. Looked up in a tree, there was a hawk preening. Several seconds later, a pigeon fell from the tree and landed on the sidewalk with a soft *thud*.

It died of fright, it did.
posted by mudpuppie 02 July | 18:39
It died of fright, it did.

Oh! Poor pigeon!
posted by occhiblu 02 July | 20:52
Nice photo cillit bang.

Hey LFR, there does seem to be more dragonflies this year than in years past.

You know, I think I could say the same thing about butterflies as well.
posted by -t 02 July | 21:25
I'm doing a gorgeous embroidery of a dragonfly. It's stunning, absolutely stunning. I also always wear a dragonfly pendant around my neck.

Dragonflies ROCK.
posted by jonathanstrange 02 July | 22:02
Hi mom.

How funny. I was just visiting my adopted mom today and, while we were driving, a huge dragonfly buzzed right by the windshield, and a few seconds later, a second one. It's close to my birthday again, and I figure my birth mom (and I guess dad, since there were two) was saying hello again.

Strange beliefs for an atheist, I know. (Were you feeling possessed today, lfr? :)
posted by Pips 02 July | 22:12
(wait, not dad... the second dragonfly... my brother joe, who died last year)

I'm weird.
posted by Pips 02 July | 22:19
You're not weird. Hummingbirds that notice me are definitely my mother coming by to say hello.

Or perhaps we're both weird!
posted by occhiblu 02 July | 22:28
Thanks, occhi... :)
posted by Pips 02 July | 22:44
Why be like everyone else? || La la la lala