Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Biggest Dragonfly I've Ever Seen

Swamp Darner Dragonfly
At the age of 13, my family moved from Kentucky to Florida. I remember thinking how wild and exotic this new home seemed. The birds were so much bigger, louder and seemingly more numerous than the song birds of my old Kentucky home. All those palmate leaved plants were very different from the trees and shrubs of the Appalachia hills. Even then, the landscape of Florida and it's animal inhabitants brought to mind images of Carboniferous forests that I had seen in prehistoric books.

These childhood thoughts came back to me the other day when I saw the biggest dragonfly that I've ever seen. It stood out agains the textured wall to which it clung. While this was no prehistoric Giant Dragonfly (Meganeura), it was big enough to get my attention. My kids and husband were similarly impressed, so much so, that we measured it and took a few pictures. From what I can tell, it is a rather large Swamp Darner dragonfly. Just one of those modern reminders of a prehistoric life form.
Measuring in at 4 inches from head to tail, Winter Park, Florida, April 17, 2015

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