Thursday, October 17, 2013

Drowning Dragonfly

As I approached the edge of the pond on a warm, sunny day, I noticed a Dragonfly lying motionless on the surface of the water.
Most of the body had been submerged except for the wings, that now glistened in the afternoon sunlight.

I assumed that it was dead and wondered how it had gotten itself into such a serious situation.
Maybe it had been trying to drink some water, had a splash-down and its wings had become too wet to fly.

In mid-thought, my eyes widened in amazement as the wings fluttered momentarily, then came to a halt.
Was it still alive? YES, it was!
I frantically searched nearby for a limb that was long enough to reach the now struggling Dragonfly.

I quickly found a limb, stepped into the damp mud at the edge of the pond, and attempted a rescue.
The Dragonfly began slowly rising from its watery grave, when it suddenly slipped off of the tip of the limb and fell back into the water with a splash.

As I apologized for my mistake, I went in for another try.
Fortunately, my second effort was a splendid success.
I gently rinsed the loose mud away and brought the waterlogged Dragonfly to rest on my hand in the warm sunshine.

After a closer inspection, I realized that it was a female Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly that I had just fished out of the pond.
I had no idea how long she had been in the water before my arrival, but she was covered with sand and scum from tip to tail.

She didn't move much in my palm, except to intermittently wipe her eyes, attempting to get some of the muck off.
I held her gingerly and photographed her while she warmed her body and dried her wings in the sun.
She didn't mind much. She was happy to be alive.

After nearly fifteen minutes, she had finally recuperated enough to fly away and perch in a tall tree nearby.

Good luck, Rosie.

Waterlogged Female Roseate Skimmer Wiping Her Eyes

I have heard other Nature Photographers and Naturalists say that a human should NEVER intervene in Nature's dealings, and that it is "survival of the fittest", but I definitely disagree.
If there is a way for me to help an innocent animal that is in a life-threatening situation, I will certainly try.
Of course, any potential rescue would warrant a hearty helping of caution and common sense.

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