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Monday, October 20, 2014

Ode to odonates

I'm just really getting passionate about dragonflies and damselflies. I had recorded the National Geographic Wild documentary this summer called "Sky Hunters... Dragonflies," (or something similar). Lost track of how many times I've watched it. It'll air again Nov. 4th. It's amazing that odonates were on earth 100 million years before dinosaurs, and even at that time were so perfectly evolved that, except for getting smaller, are virtually the same as they were back 300 million years ago. Such fascinating creatures. Back then their wingspan could be as big as two feet. Today it's barely two inches. Reduced oxygen levels in the atmosphere caused most everything to evolve smaller.

Finally was able to get back to CMO this afternoon. I started watering because you can't depend on rain, even though there's a good chance of it in the forecast, and it has sprinkled a little bit off and on today. Sure seems to be taking my allergies a long time to clear up, but I haven't resorted to the inhaler yet since I arrived.

This dragonfly was seemingly struggling in some brush near the ground where I sat and I just happened to notice it. Unable to figure out what exactly it was, or what was going on with it, I posted this photo to the awesome Facebook group "Western Odonata." Within minutes they told me that it appeared to be a Wandering Glider adult that had either had some injury or a bad emergence.


Dragonflies go through up to a dozen metamorphoses in their lives. And another astounding fact is about their eyes. Each compound eye has up to 30,000 individual simple eyes. No wonder they have better vision than any other insect on earth.

For 3 weeks I've had a critter cam in a pine tree aimed at one of the Chinkapin Oak trees that got ravaged by bears last fall. The acorns are gone off that tree now. I suspect Western Scrub-Jays. When I took down the camera of about 500 photos, not a single critter or bird was pictured. This is basically what every frame looked like. I guess the wind tripped the shutter. Bummer!

I see I didn't set the date in the camera when I set it up. Oh, well...



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