Dragonfly Combat

I left early on my walk with Ollie today. The sky was dark and threatening, so I grabbed my umbrella as well. I wasn’t about to even think of taking my camera, in case we got another downpour like the one yesterday afternoon.

Not long after I got to the river, I was beginning to regret that decision. The sun had come out, and the temperature was rising fast.

(This is an old photo, so that new readers can imagine the scene. The photo can be enlarged.)

Ollie was straight in for a drink, and to cool his paws. He likes to stand there until he has chilled down sufficiently, before more trotting around. He was standing in the shallow water pictured above, but to the right, it is a lot deeper. I waited by the bank, and noticed something flying close to the water. It was a small brown dragonfly, moving fast, and enjoying being in the sunlit area, by the look of it. Very soon, another identical insect joined him/her, and began to dive down onto the first one. They did this for some time, changing places and attempting to move the other one away from what they obviously considered to be their ‘territory’.

Two more suddenly appeared, flying in with the sun behind them, like fighter pilots in the war. The first two were obviously startled, and moved closer to Ollie. But it wasn’t long before they returned to claim their patch of sky above the water. A bloodless combat ensued, with individual insects seeking height, before swooping down on the others below. It was every dragonfly for himself/herself, as they flashed around at great speed.

I stood watching this for some time, fascinated. Then a loud whirring noise could be heard, and around the river bend came a huge iridescent blue dragonfly. Compared to the four combatants already there, this was like the appearance of a Jumbo Jet looming over four small single-seat Cessna aircraft. The brown dragonflies realised that discretion was the better part of valour, and didn’t hang around to test the patience of the enormous new arrival. They flew off immediately, in the opposite direction.

And I didn’t have my camera…

56 thoughts on “Dragonfly Combat

  1. Pete, this must be dragonfly season everywhere, because I am witness to the same wonderful dodging and darting show every evening. They are beautiful and fast. And I know that they’re eating mosquitoes when they do their show. I tried to take photos, but my iPhone can’t get the beautiful scene. Aren’t we lucky! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful description.
    Here in Japan dragonflies are often found in poetry, art and they were the emblem on samurai helmets.

    There are thousands and thousands of them now – darting over the ripening rice fields.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Know what, one of my favorite photos was when I captured a dragonfly. I almost tripped getting my camera inside the house but it was all worth. Gonna find that one somewhere on my blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just came home from a long workday, catching up on some posts…and this just made me smile. The way you paint a picture here makes it seem as if I saw this myself. See…this is just exactly the reason why I love your blog so much! The diversity of all the things you write about. Loved this post Pete. Wish I had seen this myself: must have been one heck of a sight to behold! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After a good rain we have a yard full….red, green and blue…..blues seem to be the biggest these days. MoMo chases for awhile and then she see a squirrel and that is the end of the dragon flies for awhile chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful story Pete! I’m learning to carry at least one of my cameras when I go for a walk as there’s always the possibility of seeing something new. That said – you paint a picture with your words as good as anyone so I could see it all unfold even without pictures. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Susanne. I often don’t want to bother with a camera bag when out walking with Ollie. And we had such heavy rain yesterday, I didn’t want to chance getting any of my cameras soaked. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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