Monday, June 2, 2008

The Flying Wonder since the Ages

At my younger age the most attractive fly was the Dragonfly. The darting fly will be flying low at a level with my height then, inducing me to catch it. The gang of my friends attempted to catch them live by their wings pierced in the thorns of the Prosopis juliflora tree twig, by using it like a swatter! While flying the dragonfly hovers in a fixed spot and then darts out to fly away. These movements attract the attention of all towards it. We believed as young that its head having the large eyes will be turned into sapphire when buried inside the earth! I have seen them fly over and near the water bodies, occasionally touching the water surface with their tail ends.

I had wondered earlier in my childhood about the shabby thin and fragile ‘skeletons’ of some insects that were standing upright like Sphinx on the banks of water tanks of Rice Mill (tanks used for soaking the paddy before parboiling it over fire). As I grew up academically, I understood what it is: these structures were that of the nymphs of Dragonfly! The undrained water in the tank after its use had served as the breeding place for the dragonflies. After hatching out from the eggs that are laid in the water, these aquatic nymphs feed voraciously on tadpoles and fish. When they have grown up, they climb to the bank and moult into adults, that fly away leaving these ‘skeletons’ near the water line.

Each year the arrival of North East monsoon is heralded by the dragonflies darting low here and there. I have seen many beautiful varieties of dragonflies too: reddish slender ones having membranous wings sitting on weeds and those slimmer than a needle moving like a ‘flying line’!

Now I feel that I could not stop writing about this wonder fly. So, I stop here with this and I shall write more wonders about it in my newer posts!

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