Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dragonfly - Highlights of 2007 continued -

This morning I sat down to read an article in the latest Bulletin Magazine about Amber, but got way laid reading, about Dragonflies and felt I needed to record something about what I'd read. You may recall last year my post about the pic I took of a Blue and Yellow Dragonfly which inspired a piece of Jewellery I made and named "Dragonfly Summer" I really do love the look of dragonflies and I guess now that means I've joined the ranks of "Odonatists" meaning lovers of the Dragonfly or Damselfly.
I was fascinated to find out also that the Odonata insect order of these flies are some of the oldest critters on Earth and that Dragonflies are viewed with affection in Japanese and certain Native American traditions where they are revered as symbols of strength, happiness or pure water.

Well yes, I can see why they would be a symbol of happiness. Looking at some of the stunning colours of these creatures would brighten anyone's day. Take for example the "Red Barron" or " Urothemis Aliena" who would have thought that dragonflies came dressed in Red. I love Red, its one of my fav colours. The article went on to say, "other cultures see them as sinister". eg. in Europe, dragonflies were called "horse stingers" and "devils darning needles" stemming from a myth that if you fell asleep by a stream in summer, they'd use their long thin bodies to sew your eyelids that is indeed would be a very funny sight.

Apparently there are 88 species of the Dragonfly found in South East Queensland and they are most active on hot, sunny days. I've noticed one or two occasionally in my garden, but they are usually tiny and not very colourful. I guess that's why this big colourful creature really made me sit up and take notice that particular day on Stradbroke Island. I now want to find out what species it is and a little more about its habitat.
Specific data in this post has been provided by Ric Nattrass a wildlife ranger whilst the article was written by Katherine Fleming of Bulletin Magazine.

I've emailed Ric personally to enlist his assistance with identification.

Ed: Ric tells me my Dragonfly is a "Blue Skimmer" or "Orthetrum caledonicum"
Thanks Ric!!

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