As kids, we seemed to amuse ourselves with insects and bugs a lot more than kids do today. I used to bring my pet lime green spiders in matchboxes to school to challenge some other classmate’s spiders in duels. I have not seen those light green spiders in over 30 years. At home, we used to hang around empty lots nearby and catch crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, etc. We had no video games, or internet, or cell phones, and barely any malls. I don’t think I have seen a dragonfly in the city for several years now. So on a recent short trip up North to Baguio, I was pleased to see many dragonflies near the rice fields of central luzon. I even managed to capture these photos despite the skittish nature of this medium sized dragonfly…
While I don’t see these insects as often anymore, with a few clicks of my mouse and a second or two of searching on the internet, I now know these are the adult form of waterborne larvae. Several googled sources Wikipedia and the British Dragonfly Society of explain that these bug-eyed creatures are actually smaller now than they used to be, in pre-historic times they could have nearly two-feet wingspans! And one interesting factoid is that in water, the larvae breath through gills and propel themselves by shooting air out of their rectum… Fart propulsion. :) I used to spend hours just observing and trying to catch dragonflies as a kid, sneaking up on them from behind and using my thumb and forefinger to gently pinch their tails as they flapped their wings wildly. It probably isn’t PC to do this anymore as we are so much more friendly to our bugs… but I miss those days. Once I got these shots, I put my camera down and tried to catch this particular dragonfly. Folks I was traveling with were in the car, probably wondering what the heck I was doing in a rice field ducking here and there, bobbing up and down. After just a few hops (did you know dragonflies can’t walk, despite having 6 legs?), I DID catch the dragonfly, haven’t lost that skill. I let it go immediately after.
Then just minutes later, speeding on the new Macapagal highway, I watched as a relatively large dragonfly tried to cross the highway at low altitude, and in a flash it smacked into our windshield, splattered to bits, and parts of it were stuck on our wiper. If you look closely, its wings are still stuck on the wiper. Oops.