Friday, June 14, 2013

Addendum to Wednesday's Post

Some dragonflies not only patrol their territory, but also attack those who trespass. 

I have grown accustomed to the mock sorties some species conduct. Blue Corporals, for instance, have a habit of tussling, with two flying one over the other, in a rough-housing upward sweep. Then one breaks away and they generally return to their own business.

This morning, however, I witnessed a remarkable scene of violence perpetrated by one Common Baskettail against another. I heard the flicking of wing on wing first, turned, and saw one butt against the other hard enough that the loser fell into the shallow muck of the lake. 

It fluttered twice, but could not get out of the water, and as quickly as I saw him struggle, I stepped into the water, extended my walking stick, and scooped him onto a leaf. He was weighted down with mud and struggled to catch hold. I threw my stick behind me and offered a finger. I then lifted him into sunlight. (Fortunately, it was quite warm and there was little breeze.) 

For several minutes, I studied him while he cleaned his eyes and legs, shivering his wings just as tenerals do before first flight. As I wondered what the heck I was going to do with him (thinking he was doomed), he lifted off my finger and flew away.

Dadgum but those bugs are strong!

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