Behold the Dragonfly

A dragonfly visited me the other day, just outside my window. It was still in the garden when I went out for a better view. I moved closer, and closer, and closer. Minutes went by as I watched. Then I zoomed in for pictures. It was almost as if it turned to look me square in the eye and pose. Thank you, dragonfly.

These insects that have roamed the earth for over 300 million years and today there are more than 5,000 different species of them. They are symbols of joy, transformation, and adaptability, yet dragonflies are actually ferocious predators with sharp, teeth-like mandibles! Not only that, but they will nab unsuspecting prey right out of the air with the precision of a fighter jet. They catch their prey with their feet, rip off their wings with their sharp jaws so it can’t escape, and eat, all in mid-air. Needless to say, dragonflies have mad flying skills – they can fly forward, backward, and sideways, and can even hover like a hummingbird. Their hunting and flying skills are facilitated by their eyes, which seem to take up most of their head. Yet these aren’t just bug eyes; each one of their two compound eyes has 30,000 lenses. Because of this they have almost-360° vision (with the only exception being directly behind them). I already thought dragonflies were amazing, but of course, better understanding leads to greater respect.