Hungry Little Dragonfly

Marcia Rubin

Chagrin Falls, United States

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Hungry Little Dragonfly
Location: Geauga County, Oh USA
Species: Eastern Pondhawk – Female
Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ28
Ok…. I’ll be honest with you and share with you that I absolutely am jumpy around flying bugs. Yes, even the “non- stinging” ones… lol
I’m thinking that it is more about their unpredictability than my fear of them stinging or biting me. Or maybe I’ve had just one too many of those “Oh stop running around acting like a scaredy cat around those bee’s. If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you!”, only to end up with a bee’s stinger embedded somewhere in my body. lol
So to say that I am on “hyper alert” while I am out taking pictures of bugs is probably the understatement of the year lol But, even though they all kind of scare me on one level or another, they intrigue me just the same.
For some reason, having that little camera in front of my face, I feel like I am walking through the woods in a coat of armor. I walk through some crazy stuff, almost fearlessly, as long as I have my camera. Weird… I know lol
So, getting back to my story about this photo….
My goal of course it to get as close to my subject as possible before either my subject or I can’t take it anymore and just flee. I definitely push myself WAY past my comfort zone just for the sake of the “shot”. If anyone has ever thought that photography is “boring”… then they must be doing something wrong because every time I venture out with my camera in hand, my adrenaline levels soar. I can’t even begin to tell you how many incredible photo opportunities I have blown because my hands and knees were shaking so bad over the sight of something spectacular, that every picture came out blurry because I couldn’t hold still. I’m pretty sure that many of you will be able to relate, no?
Anyway…. So here I am… Very close to this dragonfly. I was so excited because it was probably the most spectacular color green that I have ever seen in a dragonfly. It sat perched on a small log as I got closer and closer and closer. It was a HOT summer day, and I had those annoying deer flies doing circles around my head. You have no idea how hard it was to attempt to ignore these things while I’m trying to hold steady to take my pictures. Meanwhile, I noticed that this dragonfly seemed to be as interested in me, as I was in him. His head was never still. It would turn left, then right, then up, then left. Very much like the head of a praying mantis. It’s rather freaky and unsettling to watch if you want me to be honest.
But I was just so excited about how close this dragonfly was letting me come! And then in an instant, or make that more of a half of an instant, that dragonfly made a mad dash RIGHT AT ME!!! I’m telling you, these bugs have a thing for me! Everyone says “they don’t”…. but trust me… They do!
I heard what sounded to be the dragonfly crashing into my hat. My natural reaction to seeing this dragonfly coming directly at me was to get away as fast as possible to dodge this crazy insect.
I was squatting when I was taking this picture, and in an instant, my legs basically acted like springs, and I shot myself like a rocket being launched, right back to the bath and landed (hard) on my rear end. So I sat there laughing by myself, at myself. I am just so happy that nobody was there to witness this because I do believe that they would have taken me in for psychological evaluation. lol
After I got over the initial shock of what happened, I glanced back to the are that the dragonfly was sitting and he was still there, except now he is on a leaf and not the log.
Well I still wasn’t done getting my pictures of this thing, so back I went for more. Slowly, I crept forward toward him. When I got close enough, I was able to see what was going on. Ready for this?
This dragonfly was eating that darned deer fly that had been doing circles around my head! I realized that the whole time that I thought he was checking me out, he must have been honing in on that pesky little deer fly! And the sound that I heard, was not the dragonfly hitting my hat as I had first suspected, but this was more of the sound of a mid air collision between the dragonfly and this deer fly!
This was absolutely one of my most memorable experiences while out taking pictures in the woods. That dragonfly went from foe to hero in the blink of an eye!
This was a spectacular moment in the bug world, and a true lesson in nature that I will never forget.
Meanwhile, if you’re ever out wandering around the woods, or on a nice path in the local nature preserve or park and happen to come across a woman sitting on her behind laughing her head off in an area where sitting is not normally seen… That would probably be me :-)
Thanks for letting me share my experience with you!

Artwork Comments

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