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Learn About Beautiful Dragonflies: Pictures Included

Learning about the fellow creatures that share the planet with us is always of interest to me.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Visit from a Dragonfly

One day while glancing outside of our kitchen dining area window a strikingly beautiful gossamer winged dragonfly came to rest upon one of my tomato stakes. As it shifted position around the metal stake it's translucent wings caught rays of sunlight which made its wings sparkle with luminescence.

Thinking that it would probably fly away if I approached it with my digital camera, I decided to try to capture its image anyway.

Low and behold although it did take flight a few times, it circled the air above and came back down to light upon that same tomato stake seemingly unafraid of my presence. As it shifted position I kept snapping pictures with my digital camera and here in this post are the results. Enjoy!

Some Interesting Facts about Dragonflies

While not an expert by any means regarding dragonflies (or insects of any type for that matter) in researching some information for this article I discovered a few facts that I thought were interesting.

Perhaps you can use some of these tidbits to throw out as conversation starters at your next dinner party or standing around the water cooler at your office. Ha!

Dragonflies come from the insect order Odonata. They have 4 wings, 6 legs and multi-faceted eyes on top of their elongated bodies.

The main way one can tell a dragonfly (the male) from a damselfly (the female) is when they are resting. The dragonfly wings are spread out perpendicular to the body while the damselfly holds it wings against its body.

There have been fossils found of dragonflies with up to 30 inch wingspans! Jurassic Park kind of stuff! Today the largest ones, according to what I have read get no bigger than 5 to 6 inches. That is much larger than the one who visited here. I would estimate his total wingspan at possibly 3 1/2 to 4 inches in length.

Dragonflies and damselflies have been around for 325 million years! I am personally glad the modern ones are not as large as during the dinosaur periods of time!

Many different types are quite colorful both in their bodies and in the coloration of wings. In fact from all around the world dragonflies have been featured on around 400 different postage stamps because of their unique beauty. I probably have some of them in my stamp collection.

Dragonflies live, breed and lay eggs in and around water environments. Their developing larvae called nymphs can live in the water up to 5 years eating mosquito larvae and even small fish fry among other things. When the nymphs shed their skin and morph into the adult stage, assuming they are not eaten by birds or killed in other ways, they often fly away from water during that maturation stage which can last from a few days to a couple of weeks. Their bodies and wings are hardening during this stage.

This was probably why the visiting dragonfly visited our garden. Perhaps he was a young adult who thought our tomato stake looked like a great place to rest for a while?

Adult dragonflies can live up to 5 or 6 years.

The one in our backyard let me get amazing close with a camera. He came back a second day and perched on the same spot.

He probably returned to a nearby drainage ditch where he will mate and help his damselfly lay her eggs and live out his life as a territorial predator of mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

However he is welcome to come back and grace our yard with his ethereal beauty and fill up on mosquitoes anytime he wishes. In fact if I could communicate with him I would encourage his stay here!

If you would enjoy seeing many more dragonflies as well as damselflies in just about every color of the rainbow while listening to music, click on the video below. These are such amazing creatures!

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2016:

Hi Robert,

I thought that they were pretty good pictures also. That dragonfly was most cooperative! Ha!

Robert Sacchi on July 14, 2016:

Great pictures of the dragonfly.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

We still have a project or two to accomplish outside but we are pacing ourselves. The feel like temps are well above 100 degrees these days in the hottest time of day. Glad you liked this dragonfly hub. Stay cool where you are! We will both appreciate the cooler temps in the seasons to come.

C E Clark from North Texas on July 09, 2015:

Note that I haven't been here for at least 2 years, before I got a Pinterest account. So I have pinned one of your great dragonfly close-ups to my 'Butterfly and Other Insects' board.

We'e to get temps above 100 for the next couple of days. Expect you get them before we do up here. Hope your outside work is done so y9u can stay in for a few days. Take care . . .

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 01, 2015:

Hi Sheila,

You always do such a great job with writing your hubs and your photography is excellent. Happy to interlink our dragonfly hubs. Thanks for doing the same.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 30, 2015:

I love watching the dragonflies around our house too. Love your pictures and videos. Thanks so much for the link and am adding a link to this to mine. Have a great day, Peggy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 09, 2015:

Hi Mary,

Yes, I am happy to report that we continue to see many dragonflies in our area of town. Appreciate the pin and also the share. Hope you are enjoying your day over there in Florida.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on April 09, 2015:

I don't see as many dragonflies as in earlier years here where I live. I hope the same insecticides that are killing off the bees are not killing these beauties!

Your photos are amazing. Just wondering if you are still seeing dragonflies in your yard?

Vote this up, etc. and shared. Also pinned.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2015:

Hi poetryman6969,

Too bad that dragonfly never figured out how to escape that stairwell enclosure. I'll bet that your poem was a good one!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2015:

Hi Patricia,

We are only a block away from a greenbelt area with a drainage ditch. The dragonflies love that area so we see many of them also. So glad you liked this! Thanks for sharing it and also for sending your warm thoughts of angels. Always appreciate that!!

poetryman6969 on April 07, 2015:

Dragonflies, butterflies and bees are some of the few insects I have a use for. I really don't care for all the biting, swarming and nesting of the rest of the insect kingdom

I remember writing a poem about a lost dragonfly that died when we lived in Florida. It was trapped in a stairwell, well above my head and it never figured out how to get out until it died.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 07, 2015:

The photos you shared are breathtaking...and the videos make me feel up close and personal with them..

Last year we had tons of them everywhere..and when I mowed, they danced around me----red ones, blue ones, brown ones sometimes in a frenzied dance.

Now it is finally spring and they are back. I adore them.

Great hub, Peggy.

It is with pleasure that I share it voted up and pin to Awesome HubPages

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2015:

Hi tobusiness,

Glad you liked this. The videos add even more information to what I have written. That dragonfly was very cooperative that day for my picture taking!

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 05, 2015:

So fragile, so beautiful, the photo is stunning. An interesting and educational hub. Nicely done, well worth another read.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2015:

Hi Marilyn,

At least your dragonfly jewelry is still being worn, admired and enjoyed by your granddaughter. That must make you happy! :) Glad you liked this hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2015:

Hello Kiss andTales,

I normally am not crazy about flying insects either but do love butterflies and dragonflies. They are both so beautiful. Glad you liked my hub. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2015:

Hi Heidi,

I am glad that it was shared also and that you enjoyed it because of that reason. Thanks for letting me know!

Marilyn L Davis from Georgia on February 05, 2015:

Good afternoon, Peggy; dragonflies are one of my favorite images. The photos are lovely as well as the jewelry. One grand daughter has confiscated some of my '70s and '80s pieces - they are now at Mary Baldwin College and she tells me others like them. I probably won't get them back, but I'll remember this Hub. ~Marilyn

Kiss andTales on February 05, 2015:

I find their color fascinating ! Iridescent greens and blues , just one should never cross any one like my daughter who is terrified of flying bugs, but they are just beautiful to me. I love the many pictures of art , thank for your wonderful hub about them

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2015:

Hi Jackie,

I'll bet that your jewelry was beautiful!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on February 05, 2015:

OMG! Amazing photos and interesting info. Glad someone shared this since I missed the initial posting. Voted up, beautiful and interesting!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 05, 2015:

I really went crazy for dragonflies for awhile and even made jewelry with them. (Well not the real ones!) They are so interesting and beautiful. ^+

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2015:

Hi justmesuzanne,

The drainage ditch near us is only a block away in our greenbelt area which is why we often see dragonflies in our area and even our yard. Depending upon where you live in Texas, it would be hard to keep a pond going just for the sake of seeing dragonflies especially if in a drought prone area. Glad you liked this hub and subject.

justmesuzanne from Texas on February 04, 2015:

Up until last summer I had a small pond in my backyard. Unfortunately it dried up completely one very very hot summer day. I had been in the habit of filling it every other day, but the heat in Texas is just far too punishing these days. I have had dragonflies in my backyard every summer, and I don't know if I will have them again this year since the pond is gone. Interesting information nicely presented as always! :) Voted up an interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 27, 2014:

Hi Lady Guinevere,

That is strange that you would have been dreaming about them and then found this hub the next morning. Glad I could expand your knowledge base some. :)

Debra Allen from West By God on May 22, 2014:

Peggy, I just learned something today about these fairy like creatures. Thank you for expanding my knowledge. It is really strange to see this because last night I had a dream about dragonflies and then I get on hubpages and see this. Twilight Zone!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2014:

Hi Sheila,

I agree with you in that they seem somehow mystical. Thanks for the pin.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on May 18, 2014:

I love it when I see dragonflies, there is just something about them that seems kind of mystical. Beautiful hub! Pinning this! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 28, 2013:

Hi RTalloni,

As calm and tame as the dragonfly was in our backyard, I don't doubt for a moment that he would have done the same but it would have been more difficult to photograph him with one hand on the camera. Nice to know that this reminded you of those times in Florida when you were growing up. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 28, 2013:

Hi Gus,

Happy to know that you learned a few things about dragonflies that you did not previously know. Now...are you ready for a good game of Trivial Pursuit? Haha! Glad that you liked the photos of our very photogenic dragonfly in our backyard. Thanks for your comment. :))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 28, 2013:

Hi m0onlake,

For some reason the dragonfly in our yard seemed very content to stay still and pose for my photos. When my husband and I walk along our greenbelt area in our subdivision, there are many dragonflies and undoubtedly some damselflies that buzz by us because there is a ditch holding runoff water there. That is only about a block from our home. Glad that you liked these photos. Thanks for the vote up and share.

RTalloni on March 28, 2013:

A delightful look at dragonflies, reminding me of growing up in Florida. They would sometimes land on our fingertips if we stopped our bare feet in the grass long enough to point upwards!

Gustave Kilthau from USA on March 28, 2013:

Great pix, Peggy. Enjoyed the article and all of the info - new stuff to me.

Gus :-)))

moonlake from America on March 28, 2013:

You got such good pictures of dragon flies. I'm all over the yard after them and can't get a good picture. We use to have pretty blue ones when we lived at the lake. Voted up and share.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 04, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Nice to be able to tell the difference between dragonflies and damselflies without having to dissect them! So happy to hear that you liked this hub. Thanks for the votes, share and link to your nature hubs.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 04, 2013:

Beautiful photos and you were able to get close up too! Excellent hub and I'm going to link it to my nature hubs. Interesting to learn about dragon flies too. I didn't know you could tell the difference between the males & females just by looking at them (& not dissecting them!).

Voted up, BAUI, and will share!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 04, 2013:

Hi Aurelio,

We have loads of them where we live especially since we are 1/2 block away from our greenbelt area with drainage ditch. They are always to be found there and quite often also in our yard and garden. Fascinating creatures! Too bad you don't get to see them in southern California where you live. Thanks for the visit and votes. Happy New Year!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 03, 2013:

When I was growing up in the Philippines, we were surrounded by dragonflies of all shapes and sizes. Alas, here in Southern California, I never see them. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 14, 2012:

Hi L.L. Woodard,

Dragonflies are truly beautiful in person especially because the sheen of their luminous wings catch the light differently as they turn. So agreed! They are best seen in person! Thanks for the vote and the share.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 14, 2012:

Hello Millionaire Tips,

Yes...because dragonflies eat mosquitoes...they are always welcomed in our yard too. Nice to know that you enjoyed this hub and learned about these beautiful creatures from reading it. Thanks for your comment.

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on October 14, 2012:

Peggy W, I enjoyed the pictures a great deal. Even as extraordinary as a dragon/damselfly looks in a picture, though, I think you'd agree that truly appreciate this insect's beauty, you need to encounter them in person.

Voted up and Shared.

Shasta Matova from USA on October 14, 2012:

You've managed to capture some gorgeous shots of your dragonfly. I have seen them around at parks and such, but I didn't know much about them, so thanks for the info - I had no idea they ate mosquitoes. Now that I know, they are even more welcome to come to my yard.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 09, 2012:

Hello frogyfish,

Nice to know that you learned the difference between dragonflies and damselflies by reading this hub. Thanks for your comment and the heads up on the no longer operating video. Removed it. Appreciate your mentioning it.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on April 09, 2012:

Dragonfly/damselfly - I did not know the difference. I think I only see dragonflies...hmm-m. Very interesting and informative hub.

But FYI now, the 'wings operating' video is not playing.

Enjoyed your detailed presentation here. Thank you!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 17, 2011:

Hello craftdrawer,

Glad that you liked the photos of the dragonfly in my garden. He was quite the patient poser! Thanks for your comment.

craftdrawer on October 17, 2011:

Beautiful photos and great information!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 17, 2011:

Hi Denise,

Thanks for leaving a comment on this Dragonflies hub. We still have them visiting our garden occasionally along with all the other birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on October 16, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this hub, Peggy. It is beautiful. I love the photos. Your visitor reminds me of an unusual insect that came to visit my daughter's garden this past summer. It was so unique. I won't mention what it is b/c I think she is still planning on writing a hub about it. :) Glad I caught this this morning.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 05, 2011:

Hi Maggs,

You went into great depth describing the life of a dragonfly. It will be my pleasure to link your hub to this one so that people can learn even more about this interesting insect.

Mission accomplished! Read "The Dragonfly" from fellow Hubpage writer for even more information if this subject tickles your fancy.

maggs224 from Sunny Spain on February 05, 2011:

Great Hub Peggy, I enjoyed very much seeing your photographs and the video. I think you are definitely right we do like a lot of the same things :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 13, 2010:

Hello flinsura,

Happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub about dragonflies. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

flinsura on October 13, 2010:

I love watching dragonfly... Very nice pictures.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 05, 2010:

Hello heymcs,

Perhaps you'll have more visits from dragonflies in the future. We now have one dragonfly that seems to have taken up residence in our backyard. See it on just about a daily basis. Thanks for the visit and comment.

heymcs from Utah and DC on October 05, 2010:

It's hard to believe that I had my first and only encounter with a dragonfly a year or so ago while living in Park City. I initially thought it was a bee and tried to swat it away and was so mad at myself for shooing it off. I found myself then and now always looking and wishing dragonflies would come back in my life. Pics and awesome and I always love reading your work.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2010:

Hi Billy,

I love the Natural History Museum in Hermann Park. Guess you can tell that we don't have kids! Generally skip the gift shop when there. Wonder how long one can keep a bug alive in one of those bug guns?

billyaustindillon on August 06, 2010:

Yes bug gun are these litle plastic vaccum guns that you buy at the natural history museum. They big up the bug and then you put them in their habitat inside. An ant farm is another favorite.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2010:

Hi Billy,

Well...you can now show your two young fellas these videos if they wish to learn something about dragonflies. Bug gun? I found a gorgeous (dead) beetle in the backyard that I photographed yesterday. Amazing colors.

billyaustindillon on August 06, 2010:

My brain hurts I meant my two young fellas

billyaustindillon on August 06, 2010:

lol I was thinking of new young fellas who love their 'bug gun' :) The videos look awesome.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2010:

Hi Billy,

Guess I'm just "one of the boys!" Haha! I am fascinated with almost everything in nature. Found some great videos to add to this hub about dragonflies. Thanks for the visit.

billyaustindillon on August 05, 2010:

Great shots of a dragonfly - the boys would leave these shots. Different insects are always fascinating to young boys :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 23, 2009:

Hi Dolores,

Ha! That made me laugh. Never heard that one before! Good thing.....because that dragonfly seems to be hanging around now. Seems to have established his territory in our backyard. (Now, my husband may like that idea of my lips being sealed at times!) LOL

Thanks for your comment. Added a bit of humor to my day.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 22, 2009:

Fantastic pictures. I remember when I was a kid, they used to say that dragonflies would sew your lips together. Even as a gullible child. I knew this was pretty stupid.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2009:

Hello dlgjmg30,

The dragonfly that came to visit our garden one day now seems to be calling it his home, I am happy to report. He is perching on all sorts of things. Could probably capture more photos if I was so inclined.

Happy to share this information with you and thank you for your comment. Glad that you found it interesting.

dlgjmg30 from Lytle Creek, CA on July 18, 2009:

What beautiful pictures. I see them all the time but they are usually in flight. The info on them was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2009:

Hi katyzzz,

Come on over! The welcome mat is out. LOL

Thanks for the comment and glad you liked this.

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on July 17, 2009:

I must fly by your garden sometimes, the dragonfly seemed to find it succulent.

I loved this hub, Peggy

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2009:

Hello fierycj,

So glad that you liked this hub. Thanks for your most complimentary comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2009:

Hi James,

I am happy to report that dragonfly seems to be appearing each day now in our backyard...so obviously he has defined it as "his" territory. Was choosing an open rose for his perch the other day instead of the tomato stake. Thanks for your comment.

fierycj on July 16, 2009:

Gawd, this is by far the most beautiful, i mean, BEAU-TI-FULLL hub I've ever seen. Nature at its best...Dragon flies are beautiful, aint they. Thanks for revealing this hidden beauty to us.

James A Watkins from Chicago on July 15, 2009:

Stunning photography, Peggy. I have always been fascinated by these unusual, interesting, beautiful creatures. Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2009:

Hi Zollstock,

Answering the questions of a five year old...........ha!..........never ending as you indicated. Hope this helps. LOL Thanks for the comment.

Zollstock from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW on July 13, 2009:

Kudos to your keen eye and quick camera! Makes you thankful for all the wonders of nature and those quiet moments that allow us to enjoy them, doesn't it?! Thanks for the great info as well - this will make a good lesson for my five-year old, and for once, I might have some answers to those neverending questions!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2009:

Hi Jerilee,

I also would not tire of watching them. They can be very acrobatic with their flight patterns. Rather unusual to see one in our yard so I was happy that I could capture the moment. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2009:

Hello shamelabboush,

I agree with you...dragonflies are really pretty. Thanks for the comment.

Jerilee Wei from United States on July 12, 2009:

Great photos and info on dragonflies. We have a lot of them in this part of Florida and I never tire of watching them.

shamelabboush on July 12, 2009:

This is a pretty bug, if I might say so. Useful info Peggy, thanks.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2009:

Hi Kiran,

The photos really did turn out looking pretty good. I had a very willing dragonfly posing for me. Only one of the photos showed a little of the luminescence in the wings..........but I'm not complaining. LOL Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2009:

Hello Enelle,

That would be wonderful if that dragonfly would decide upon our backyard as its territory to roam and keep bug free. Keep those fingers crossed.........and THANKS! LOL

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2009:

Hi Cheryl,

I can certainly think of worse ways to start the day than looking at pretty photos. (Smile) Wishing you a wonderful day! Thanks for the comment.

kiran8 from Mangalore, India on July 10, 2009:

Fabulous pictures and a great hub, thanks a lot peggy :)

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on July 10, 2009:

:D What a great hub - I will keep my fingers crossed for you that your dragonfly patrols your yard and keeps it skeeter free.

Cheryl on July 10, 2009:

A true beauty and a great way to start the day. Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2009:

Hi Pete,

Those blue ones are so pretty. I was just happy to see this one perched long enough to get these photos. Thanks for commenting as you usually do.

Pete Maida on July 10, 2009:

The pictures are great. We have a lot of dragonflies around here. I've seen the bright blue ones recently.

Pete Maida on July 10, 2009:

The pictures are great. We have a lot of dragonflies around here. I've seen the bright blue ones recently.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2009:

Hi Tom,

I would agree with you that dragonflies are awesome creatures. So glad that this one seemed to co-operate with being a subject for some photography. They are truly beautiful. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2009:

Hi Candie,

Yes, wildlife.....even insects......are amazing. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2009:

Hi Sufidreamer,

Thanks for the compliment about my photography. Of course I had a willing subject...in this case the dragonfly. LOL

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2009:

Hi Ethel,

It was on the stake of the 2nd biggest and actually producing tomato plant. Hope to have many Roma tomatoes off of it. Large sized...just not yet ripe for picking. Thanks for the comment.

Tom Cornett from Ohio on July 10, 2009:

Loved this hub....Dragonflies are awesome creatures. Great pics! Thanks! :)

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on July 10, 2009:

Beautiful indeed! Wildlife is incredible isn't it!!

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on July 10, 2009:

Beautiful pictures, Peggy. Dragonflies are so beautiful and brighten up the summer. Thanks for sharing the photos with us - you are a talented photographer :)

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on July 10, 2009:

The photos are terrific. Was it hanging about near your huge tomato palnt?

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