Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Emergence

Nights have been cool here, and our dragonflies are a few weeks late in appearing, but they are here at last.  At some time during the last few days, the dragonflies of the Lanark highlands began to emerge, and the first of the season were out and about during our pottering last weekend.

In darkness, the naiads (nymphs) climbed from streams and ponds and affixed themselves to nearby saplings and twigs. Clinging to airy perches, they breathed in and out in the warm evening air, and their transformation into adults began.  Existing exoskeletons opened under the sustained pressure of  heightened blood pressure and deep resonant breathing.   Newly fledged dragonflies climbed out of their outgrown skins and up into the night like fragile wraiths.

The emerged adults (or tenerals) clung to chosen twigs as their soft new exoskeletons and legs firmed up and took on characteristic species markings and colors.  Their untried wings were folded meditatively together, becoming glossy and iridescent and strong enough for flying - toward the end of the metamorphosis, the wings opened and moved outward into the classic extended dragonfly posture that distinguishes dragonflies from their exquisite damselfly kin.  As the sun climbed above the horizon, the newborn dragonflies arose in glistening clouds and launched themselves skyward on their maiden flight.

It's an event to be treasured, this hopeful uprising of newborn dragonflies at sunrise - it's a moment of elemental grace in a world that often seems to have lost its way and gone mad in its wanderings.  It's a reminder, and I need such reminders often.

This little wonder is (I think) is a male Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura).

7 comments:

Kameshwari said...

Your description of the "emergence" is written with perfect graphic poetry. I felt myself becoming involved in the transformation. Quite powerful.

the wild magnolia said...

Through your words I am there.

Thank you.

Sky said...

we love the beautiful dragonflies, too. i welcome them since they eat the mosquitoes that seem to gather on warm summer evenings. interestingly, these mosquitoes don't bite me like those in the east did, but in memory of those red, swollen knots along my extremeties, i am always glad to see the dragonflies arrive.

Angie said...

Such vivid pictures are drawn with your eloquence, that I feel as if I too had witnessed this 'emergence'. Such a Beautiful Soul

Kameshwari said...

I am reminded that when I was younger, I think my spirit animal was a dragonfly. Now that I am older, it is the bat who is my spirit animal. Interesting; both eat mosquitos.

MeANderi said...

I love that you just watched and noticed the unfolding! Elemental grace indeed --- the wonderment of Life being lived! Thank you for the delightful description that allowed me to see too... Christine

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Dragonflies abound near my cottage.
Wish they would feast more on the mosquitos...