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Day May 25, 2009

Of Damselflies And Dragonflies

This photograph depicts a female ebony jewelwing -- a small dragonfly with long dark body and wings -- perched on a leaf. The tips of the wings have white dots.

In this photograph, a female Widow Skimmer -- a dragonfly with nearly transparent wings (save for two stripes of brown which stretch across them) -- clings to the stalk of a small plant.

This photograph shows the female Ebony Jewelwing from the front. Its large eyes dwarf the diminutive face. It's a flighty creature! Constantly moving.

Damselflies and dragonflies belong on every list of favorite insects. Beyond their beauty and inoffensive nature, they possess a ravenous appetite for mosquitos, which makes them allies to every human and warm-blooded animal.

(Years ago, while hiking near lakes in the Oregon Cascades, I would sometimes pass through clouds of dragonflies. They almost appeared to be hovering as their wings beat against the breezes off the water.)