Friday, June 13, 2008

I am the Great Black Dragon - Story of a Dragonfly on the pond

You heard me. I am THE great Black Dragon. I am known by this name. The buzz on my pond is that I am dreaded by those delicious sleazy vampire-like night flying creatures seeking the blood of their victims. So be it. They are my prey. In case you doubt my position in this world, all you need to do is look at me. So here I am!

My story today is my entire life. I will see about 60 nights and days and then be gone. Glorious is the day and quiet is the night. My time is the day. I will seek out all the mosquitoes I can hold in my belly, then love, work and play in the sunlight and in the rain. I will quickly move among the bulrushes, flowers, and grass around the pond.

Reedy Pond-15

I must tell you about the spot where I met Mrs Black Dragon, my love. On MY day in the sun, my true love came to me. I happened to be at one of my favorite hangouts, the Golden Rod. The afternoon light glistened off of the rod as I was fluttering around.

Reedy Pond-13

Then she came, and she too was fluttering and of course with a little flattering as well. I mean, who could see me and not issue those words of flattery! Well, here is the missus doing her business amidst the leaves.

Reedy Pond-14

We hooked up and became the proud parents of little black hunger mucks who think they own the pond. At first they were eggs on the plant leaves. Then they came out of their shells and became almost like us. For several human months, our little ones will be unable to fly. Humans call us "larvae" when we are children. During this stage of our lives, we are vulnerable to enemies like fish and birds, but some day we do grow up and flit about like me. Then one of the children will say "I am the great Black Dragon"! As teenagers, they have now met their cousins on the other side of the pond and realize how big this world must be. These cousins thought they were something to behold, until of course they saw ME! Look! These cousins are blue, of all colors!

Reedy Pond 2-7

Then I brought their striped distant cousins to meet the children. The little ones learned a lot from these distant relatives. Who needs to be big to be fast? They learned again that their father is the best of the best. I challenged Mr silver to a race. I just could not keep him on the track however. He does not know how to fly from one place to another in a straight line. But after all, I AM the great Black Dragon!
Reedy Pond 2-3

It is tough to be humble when you are perfect in every way. We have been on this planet for more than 300 million years. Think about that. There are a few other things you should know about us:

1. My children feast on those vampire-like bugs as well. They chow down on Mosquitoes like you have never seen! You would do well having some in your yard.

2. You may not know it, but you need me also in your backyard. I bet you get buzzed all the time and it's usually not by me. Give me a pond with plant life and I will go to work for you to get rid of the buzz of your life.

3. You people always call all of us "dragon flies" but do you know that i am actually a Damselfly? Remember the striped dragonfly above? Well, he is a real dragonfly, but I am the king!

4. We are official in the animal kingdom. We are insects, but a special kind with a special function in the ecology about us. Please do not poison us. We do not sting, nor do we hurt you humans in any way.

1. A Beginner's Guide to Dragon Flies

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