Capturing A Dragon ( An eight year quest)

My grandfather had some unique names for what is commonly called a dragonfly. Usually he called it a “Snakedoctor”. Irregardless of the name insects of the order Odonata are notoriously hard to catch. I have purposefully trekked out to lakes and ponds just to find these but as soon as I raise the camera they move. I have a whole string of blurry images of dragonflies and damselflies that could just as easily be a Sasquatch picture.

But here is the first one that is actually in focus! Even on the cool morning that I found this one it took several tries to get a good shot. The order’s name odonata literally means flying tooth. From the moment they hatch these things devour mosquitoes! They are a great control method for the little bloodsucking pests that will not poison the food chain. The one here is of the most common type but there are brightly colored ones here too. Greens and blues are also common. They’re like flying gemstones around our bodies of water. If I can catch one staying still for long enough to get the right picture it will be published in color.

I still haven’t figured out why the old-timers call them Snakedoctors ( and sometimes Witchdoctors) but I’m always taken back to my childhood summers when I see one.

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