Big news: I took a cool picture with my iPhone. I’ve brought it to class today in hopes of making you like me more. A little extra nerd popularity never hurt anyone (except when I was a kid, sigh), and I’m here to get mine.
I loved show and tell. I once heard Kristen Lamb say blogs are “show and tell for adults,” and I definitely took this to heart (possibly a little too much).
Last Sunday, I went on a solo hike in North Georgia on the Pine Log Creek Trail, a 4.5 mile loop hike that features a small abandoned quarry reclaimed by nature in a particularly lovely way. Here’s my orientation-flipped pic of the reflective water effect at the quarry:
I’m always hoping for a glimpse of good mammalian or reptilian wildlife on these hikes, and I’m almost always disappointed. Instead of foxes, otters, bears, or snakes, I typically just see bugs. Lots of bugs.
Early in the hike, I caught a glimpse of this damselfly perched on a leaf:
I love it. The wild yet minimalist color scheme of black and cobalt blue. Those quad-wings spread out like petals of a sinister flower. The damselfly was fearless (or perhaps just not too bright), as it allowed me to get inches away with the iPhone for a close pic.
I didn’t know it was a damselfly. I’d never even heard of them until I posted the pic and called it a dragonfly in the caption. My brother corrected me. I should be forgiven the mistake, as damselflies are very closely related to dragonflies. They are much thinner of body, have smaller eyes, a different wing shape and different wing position at rest. Here’s an article running down some of the differences.
Both eat insects. I bet ant eggs are like the donuts of insect-eating-insects.
I tried to find out why this particular insect ended up with the title “damselfly,” but came up with nothing after a rigorous two minutes of internet research. Probably a 19th-century entomologist with 19th-century sensibilities decided the damselfly’s narrower and more elegant profile suggested the female version of a dragonfly, prone to fainting in moments of high emotion.
The sheer personality of this ravishing little insect blew me away. The utter thinness of its six legs, each with perfectly-spaced feeler hairs, somehow both relaxed and ready to spring away. With some slight anthropomorphic alterations, it wouldn’t look out of place in a Guillermo del Toro movie. I half-expected it to turn its head and ask me a question or issue a riddle-based challenge.
That’s it for today: a little insect magic and damselfly trivia. My biggest fandom still lies with the praying mantis, but the damselfly is close on its heels.
Can you feel the love? Or are you of the “squash them all” disposition? Let me know.