The power of flight. The agility of fliers. Both are key.
But to truly key in, one needs to notice the idiosyncrasies of the wings and other body parts. Consider the yellow stigma on this dragonfly’s wings, a color which matches the hearts on its abdomen.
But for me, the most outstanding part of the Calico Pennant are the stained glass patches at the base of its wings–yellow for a female and red for a male.
Then there’s one whom I first met a couple of weeks ago. By its oreo cookie face I recognized it upon our second encounter today. This Stream Cruiser’s wings certainly don’t define it.
But other attributes do, such as the green eyes of this mature being and his yellowish claspers.
Did you notice he’s on my finger? I was rather surprised and you know . . . delighted.
As I moved along, I spied another who knows how to fly through the air.
Its dark wings hardly seem capable of carrying its long body, but they do. Even more notable, however, are the long segmented antennae.
This is an Ichneumon Wasp, known not as one to sting us, but rather for its parasitic larvae that feed on or inside another insect host species until it dies.
For the Common (there’s that word again) Sanddragon dragonfly, the stand-out feature is the yellow abdominal appendages on both male and female. To tell one sex from the other, the eyes need to be considered. The female has brown eyes, while the male, such as this one, sees the world of its prey through yellow-green lenses.
Hoverflies are also part of the landscape, behaving in their typical manner by hovering mid-air in the middle of trail, until one lands on a hemlock twig and shows off not only its veined wings, but also giant eyes, the better to spy a tiny prey.
Nearby, a Robber Fly lands on the bud of a Pipsissewa flower, waiting as its species does for a chance to pounce upon a dinner of choice.
In the midst of it all, a delicate Northern Pearly-eye Butterfly graces the scene.
So many differences. And yet they all can fly despite the size of their head, thorax and abdomen.
Oh Wing-ed Ones.
May those who share this day with you be honored with similar attributes including power, agility, and idiosyncrasies all their own.
Happy Birthday Carissa, Pam, and Hannah.