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Have You Ever Really Looked at a Dragonfly?

I mean really looked at one. It’s kind of hard to do while they’re in flight since they don’t tend to hang around any one space for more than a few seconds, if that. To really appreciate one it might help to look at some captured images, professional or otherwise. So, if you have a free moment I highly recommend it.

It’s no wonder dragonflies appear in works of art, jewelry and even as mystical creatures in fiction. There are even some people who suggest that the word ‘dragonfly’ has its source in a myth that dragonflies were once dragons. That’s pretty interesting, and it’s as likely as anything else you might hear regarding its origin.

Here’s a more scientific description from Wikipedia:

Dragonfly: an insect belonging to the order Odonata. Adult dragonflies are characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with coloured patches and an elongated body. Dragonflies can be mistaken for the related group, damselflies, which are similar in structure, though usually lighter in build; however, the wings of most dragonflies are held flat and away from the body, while damselflies hold the wings folded at rest, along or above the abdomen. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker, fluttery flight. Many dragonflies have brilliant iridescent or metallic colours produced by structural coloration, making them conspicuous in flight. An adult dragonfly’s compound eye has nearly 24,000 ommatidia.

I also read that dragonflies have an average lifespan of about seven months. So I think it’s only fair to appreciate the lovely creatures while they’re here, since each one is with us for such a short period of time.

While some folks will analyze the dragonfly (and/or its close counterpart the damselfly) for the sake of explaining how it may have been part of the evolutionary chain whose ancestors date back 325 million years (give or take a few million, but hey, who’s counting?), I’d like to look at the dragonfly merely for its physical beauty.

I find it astonishing that our Creator (I’m a ‘Creationist’, whatever that is – I used to be just a regular gal who believed what the nuns taught me in Catholic school before Vatican 2 exploded onto the scene.) would spend His time making such an extraordinary… insect. But whether you want to believe one way or another is up to you. Hey, I’m still trying to figure out how order came out of chaos, like from a big explosion or noisy bang. I never seem to find a room in my house tidy itself up after one of my house guests or I leave a big mess, but that must be another issue altogether.

So, I won’t blather on about all the attributes of a dragonfly or even why I believe that only a good, true and beautiful God would bother to make such marvelous insects. I merely want to get you to take a few minutes out of your day to really look at a dragonfly either in your back yard or in some of the magnificent photos you can find all over the Internet. Enjoy the beauty; then pass it on!

Karen J.