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Friday, July 19, 2019

Dragonfly Details: Friday Follow-Up

Last Friday I took a walk to Central Park with the mission to observe dragonflies and I was blessed to spend a lot of time with one which I wrote about in this past Sunday's blog post; where I included many pictures of the creature I encountered. The aforementioned insect allowed me to take many photos of him/her. I'm still going through the many pictures he/she allowed me to take; including the ones that can be seen atop this entry; where, as you can see, the images focus on the insect's facial characteristics.

In my Sunday blog post, regarding the physical attributes of the dragonfly, I did not include any photos that highlighted the face of the dragonfly, but my discussion was mainly directed on the fact that these insects have a 360 degree vision range; hence today I'm following up on my discussion with some more facts re the eyes of dragonflies.

I've now learned from a web-page for MNN (AKA Mother Nature Network) the area of a dragonfly's head "is comprised primarily of its enormous compound eyes, which contain 30,000 facets, each bringing in information about the insect's surroundings. Dragonflies have near-360-degree vision, with just one blind spot directly behind them. This extraordinary vision is one reason why they're able to keep a watch on a single insect within a swarm and go after it while avoiding mid-air collisions with other insects in the swarm."

Another aspect of dragonfly which intrigued me is how/she used his/her wings. MNN's web-page  also explains, "Dragonflies have two sets of wings with muscles in the thorax that can work each wing independently. This allows them to change the angle of each wing and practice superior agility in the air.

Dragonflies can fly in any direction, including sideways and backward, and can hover in a single spot for a minute or more. This amazing ability is one factor in their success as aerial ambush predators — they can move in on unsuspecting prey from any direction.

Not only are they agile, but they're fast, with some species reaching a top speed of 18 miles per hour."

The following series of pictures feature aspects of "my" dragonfly's wing activity.

Additionally, I was struck by how this dragonfly made use of his legs and have recently learned (from a source called SCIENCING  "the dragonfly relies entirely on flight for its movement; it does not use legs to walk but only for holding onto foliage during rest, grasping a mate during copulation and for grasping prey." The image atop this entry as well as the ones directly below illustrates how he/she almost looks like they are walking on a tight rope instead of holding on to foliage.

In Sunday's posts I quoted a lyric line from Joni Mitchell's song, Circle Game, and in this follow-up I'd like to refer you to two other songs that speak of this insect: Dragonfly performed in a You Tube video by Fleetwood Mac and Little Lamb Dragonfly performed in a You Tube Video by Sir Paul McCartney.

That's it for now re my follow-up on the dragonfly, dear reader, except to remind you that a member his insect type is featured in volume one of my book series, Words In Our Beak.


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