A Wing and a Prayer

This dragonfly is beautiful . . . but flawed.

Here’s a basic rule of thumb when it comes to photography and my beloved dragonflies: When you don’t have your Nikon digital SLR and 105mm macro lens with you, they’ll be posing for you. Mockingly.

Case in point? Yesterday at a nearby park. My younger son wanted to practice some disc golf shots on one of the holes there; it’s the location of tonight’s handicap mini finale. He drove us there in our old Mercury Villager so he could get in more practice before he tests for his license in December and parked near the hole’s tee box. When he put his disc golf bag on the ground, he said, “Look at that!”

The dragonfly rested in between trying to escape.

“That” was a gorgeous dragonfly, which was motionless on the ground. At first, I thought it was dead, but then it started buzzing about. Of course, I had left my good camera equipment at home, because I planned to shoot the action today. Fortunately, I usually carry my Canon S90 point and shoot, so I whipped that out and tried to get as close as I could.

Wonder what happened to its wing?

All too soon, it was apparent what was wrong with the d-fly: Part of its wing was missing. The poor thing could kind of hop around, but it couldn’t get off the ground. I really felt sorry for it, because now it’s a sitting duck to be picked off by a bird.

As we left the park, I bade the dragonfly goodbye, adding a brief prayer that it’s able to stay alive for the rest of its lifecycle. Wonder if it’ll be there tonight? You know I’ll be looking for it . . . with my Nikon D700 and 105mm lens!

Update: When I checked the park last night, the wounded dragonfly wasn’t in the same area. I’m hoping somehow it managed to hop into the nearby woods where it will be protected.


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