Monday, May 16, 2016

Damsel in Distress

I had only an hour with some sun, so I ran to Lake Cheston. Not much doing, I thought, until I happened upon this female damselfly.

She was so loaded down with mites that she merely alit on the sandy bank and stayed and stayed and stayed there. All of a sudden, an ant attacked and tumbled her. I managed to get her away from the ant (I admit I killed the bugger), and she perched on my finger a good long while. I had the wrong lens on the camera (of course) and managed what I could by way of photos.

Because I had an appointment and then work, I finally had to leave. I perched her on a broad leaf and left, feeling, I admit, quite guilty that I could do more nothing more.

When I came home and looked at my pictures, I was puzzled. I didn't believe what I was seeing. I posted photos on the Southeastern Odes Facebook group, and Dennis Paulson (who wrote Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East, among other guides) responded, " I think that was a Vesper Bluet, Enallagma vesperum. Clearly not in the best of condition, probably because of all those mites."

Holy cow! That makes three Vespers  in less than a week. And this one is a whole different body of water!

Small consolation, though, for the damselfly, who I feel certain has been dispatched by now.

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